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Full text of "Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society"



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PROCEEDINGS 



MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



Committee of Publication. 

EDWARD J. YOUNG. 
ALEXANDER McKENZIE. 
CHARLES C. SMITH. 



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in 2013 



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PROCEEDINGS 



«ac{jnseitoi historical Sbrietg* 



Second Series. — Vol. XIX. 



1905. 



Publish at tije Charge of tfje Eooert Cfjaries Billings jFunti. 




BOSTON: 
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY. 

MDCCCCVI. 



J&nitattg ^tess: 

John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 



PREFACE. 1128371 



This volume comprises the record of the nine stated 
meetings held during the calendar year 1905. In it 
wi]l be found a large number of hitherto unpublished 
documents, among which are the letters of Edmund 
Pendleton and Mrs. John T. Kirkland and the extracts 
from the Memoirs of the Rev. Dr. John Pierce. Em- 
bodied in the communications of Mr. Noble on the 
Boundary Disputes of Massachusetts and on Highway 
Robbery in Massachusetts, of Mr. Ford on the Case 
of Samuel Shrimpton, and of the President on John 
Quincy Adams in the Twenty-second Congress, are also 
many original documents. Besides these there are impor- 
tant discussions on the Negro in America by G. Stanley 
Hall, on Abraham Bishop and his Writings by Mr. 
Franklin B. Dexter, by the President on Mr. Rhodes's 
fifth volume and Some Phases of the Civil War, and 
by Mr. Dunning on the authorship of Andrew John- 
son's first annual message. The memoirs of deceased 
members, each of which is accompanied by a portrait, are 
of George F. Hoar by Nathaniel Paine and G. Stan- 
ley Hall, of Walbridge A. Field by John Noble, 



v j PREFACE. 



Benry Lee by John T. Morse, Jr., John S. Brayton 
by William W. Crapo, Henry W. Taft by James M. 
Barker, and Uriel H. Crocker by Samuel S. Shaw. 

At the meeting of the Society in January of this year 
the resignation of the Rev. Dr. Young as Recording 
Secretary was received and accepted with regret. Elected 
at the Annual Meeting of 1883, as the successor of our 
greatly lamented associate George Dexter, he was 
chairman ex-officio of the Committee for publishing the 
Proceedings for more than twenty-two years. Down to 
the end of 1889 the principal labor of preparing and 
publishing the successive volumes devolved on him. 
Alter the adoption of a new by-law and the appointment 
in that year of an editor of the Society's publications, 
the chairman was relieved of this duty and responsi- 
bility. It need not be said how admirably Dr. Young 
had discharged his increasingly onerous duties, and how 
greatly the Society was indebted to him. He was uni- 
formly prompt, exact, and methodical and a sound and 
painstaking critic. The five volumes edited wholly or 
in larger part by him will always remain a monument 
of his industry, fidelity, and good judgment; and down 
to his resignation as Secretary he continued to take an 
active part in the w T ork of the Committee. 

For the Committee, 

CHARLES C. SMITH. 
Boston, March 10, 1906. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Preface v 

List of Illustrations xi 

Officers elected April 13, 1905 xiii 

Resident Members xiv 

Honorary and Corresponding Members xvi 

Members Deceased xviii 



JANUARY MEETING, 1905. 

Paper by Charles Henry Hart, on Edward Savage, Painter 

and Engraver 1 

Paper by John Noble, on an Incident in the Boundary Line 

Dispute between Massachusetts and Rhode Island ... 20 

Paper by James F. Rhodes, on Negro Suffrage and Recon- 
struction 34 

Paper by Worthington C. Ford, on the Case of Samuel 

Shrimpton 38 

Paper by Samuel A. Green, on John Foster, the Engraver . 51 

Memoir of Walbridge A. Field, by John Noble 61 



FEBRUARY MEETING, 1905. 

Remarks b} r the senior Vice-President, on a new portrait of 

George Livermore 83 

Remarks by William R. Livermore 84 



Viil CONTENTS. 



PAGE 



Paper by Edmund F. Slafter, on the Book of Sports ... 86 

A Study of the Negro in America, by G. Stanley Hall . . 95 
Unpublished Letters of Edmund Pendleton, communicated by 

WOKTIIINGTOX C FORD 107 



MARCH MEETING, 1905. 

Paper by James De Normandie, on Manners, Morals, and 

Laws of the Piscataqua Colony 169 

Paper by John Noble, on Legislation on Highway Robbeiy in 

Massachusetts 178 

Paper by Franklin B. Dexter, on Abraham Bishop and his 

Writings 190 



ANNUAL MEETING, APRIL, 1905. 

Report of the Council 201 

Report of the Treasurer 206 

Report of the Auditing Committee 221 

Report of the Librarian 222 

Report of the Cabinet-Keeper 223 

Report of the Committee on the Library and Cabinet . . . 225 

Officers elected 226 

Memoir of Henry Lee, by John T. Morse, Jr 228 

Memoir of George F, Hoar, by Nathaniel Paine and 

G. Stanley Hall 258 

Memoir of John S. Bravton, by William W. Crapo . . . 268 



MAY MEETING, 1905. 

Remarks by the President, on some recent Historical Pam- 
phlets 273 

Paper by William R. Thayer, on The Outlook in History . . 279 



CONTENTS. IX 

PAGE 

Paper by Franklin B. Sanborn, on Dr. Barefoot and Dr. 

Greenland 288 

Paper by James F. Hunnewell, on Latest and Earliest Town 

Views 295 

Paper by Samuel A. Green, on The Washington Oak at 

Mount Vernon 297 



JUNE MEETING, 1905. 

Remarks by the President, in announcing the death of Robert 

C. Winthrop, Jr 300 



OCTOBER MEETING, 1905. 

Bequests of Robert C. Winthrop, Jr 304 

Remarks by the President 306 

Tribute to James M. Barker, by John D. Long 309 

Remarks by the President, on Mr. Rhodes's fifth volume and 

Some Phases of the Civil War 311 

Remarks by Charles C. Smith, in communicating some ex- 
tracts from Rev. Dr. Pierce's Memoirs 356 

Memoir of Henry W. Taft, by James M. Barker .... 390 



NOVEMBER MEETING, 1905. 

A Little More Light on Andrew Johnson, by William A. 

Dunning 395 

Remarks by Charles P. Bowditch, in communicating some 
documents relating to the treatment of negro seamen at 
the South 406 



x CONTEXTS. 

DECEMBER MEETING, 1905. 

PAGE 

Remarks by the President, on the preservation of the Frigate 

Constitution 409 

Remarks by the President, in announcing the death of Stephen 

Salisbury and of William P. Upham 412 

Tribute to Mr. Salisbury, by Waldo Lincoln 415 

by T. W. Higginson 418 

by G. Stanley Hall 419 

by Nathaniel Paine ..... 421 

Remarks by Charles C. Smith, in communicating some fur- 
ther extracts from Rev. Dr. Pierce's Memoirs .... 423 

Litters of Mrs. John T. Kirkland, communicated by Henry 

Cabot Lodge 440 

Remarks by the President, in communicating a letter from 

John Quincy Adams to Andrew Stevenson 504 

MeiDoir of Uriel II. Crocker, by Samuel S. Shaw .... 554 



List of Donors to the Library 567 

Index 571 









LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE 

Portrait of George F. Hoar Frontispiece 

Portrait of Walbridge A. Field 61 

Portrait of Henry Lee 228 

Portrait of John S. Brayton 268 

Portrait of Henry W. Taft 390 

Portrait of Uriel H. Crocker 554 



[xi] 






/ 



OFFICERS 

OF THE 

MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 

Elected April 13, 1905. 



^resibeni. 
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, LL.D Lincoln. 

SAMUEL A. GREEN, LL.D . . Boston. 

JAMES F. RHODES, LL.D . . Boston. 

JUtorbing Starctarg. 
EDWARD J. YOUNG, D.D Waltham. 

Corresponding Jletreiarg. 
HENRY W. HAYNES, A.M Boston. 

feasurcr. 
CHARLES C. SMITH, A.M Boston. 

Jpkarian. 
SAMUEL A. GREEN, LL.D Boston. 

Cabint-t-JUener. 
GRENVILLE H. NORCROSS, LL.B Boston. 

Ulemtara at ITargc of i\i Council. 

JAMES F. HUNNEWELL, A.M Boston. 

JAMES De NORMANDIE, D.D Roxbury. 

THOMAS W. HIGGINSON, LL.D Cambridge. 

ALBERT B. HART, LL.D Cambridge. 

THOMAS L. LIVERMORE, A.M Jamaica Plain. 

Additional Member of the Council. 
ROGER B. MERRIMAN, Ph.D. . . . . ... . Cambridge. 



[xiii] 



RESIDENT MEMBERS, 

AT THE DATK OF THE PRINTING OF THIS HOOK, IN THE OBDEB OF 
THEIR ELECTION. 



18G0. 

Hon. Samuel Abbott Green, LL.D. 
Charles Eliot Norton, D.C.L. 

1861. 
Rev. Edward Everett Hale, D.D. 

1865. 
Josiah Phillips Quincy, A.M. 

1866. 
Henry Gardner Denny, A.M. 

1867. 
Charles Card Smith, A.M. 

1871. 
Abner Cheney Goodell, A.M. 
Edward Doubleday Harris, Esq. 

1873. 
Winslow Warren, LL.B. 
Charles William Eliot, LL.D. 

1875. 
Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. 

1876. 
Hon. William Everett, LL.D. 
Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, LL.D. 

1877. 
John Torrey Morse, Jr., A.B. 

1878. 
Gamaliel Bradford, A.B. 
Rev. Edward James Young, D.D. 

1879. 

Henry Williamson Ilaynes, A.M. 

[xiv] 



1880. 
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, LL.D. 

1881. 
Rev. Henry Fitch Jenks, A.M. 
Rev. Edmund Farwell Slafter, D.D. 
Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D. 

1882. 
Arthur Lord, A.B. 
Frederick Ward Putnam, A.M. 
James McKellar Bugbee, Esq. 

1884. 
Hon. John Elliot Sanford, LL.D. 
Edward Channing, Ph.D. 

1886. 
William Watson Goodwin, D.C.L. 
Rev. Alexander Viets Griswold 
Allen, D.D. 

1887. 
Solomon Lincoln, A.M. 
Edwin Pliny Seaver, A.M. 

1889. 
Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D. 
Thornton Kirkland Lothrop, LL.B. 

1890. 
Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, A.M. 
Abbott Lawrence Lowell, LL.B. 

1891. 
Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, LL.D. 
Henry Pickering Walcott, M.D. 

1892. 
George Spring Merriam, A.M. 



RESIDENT MEMBERS. 



XV 



1893. 
Hon. Charles Russell Codtnan, LL.B. 
Barrett Wendell, A.B. 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D. 

1894. 
Hon. Edward Francis Johnson, LL.B. 
Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, D.D. 
William Roscoe Thayer, A.M. 

1895. 
Rev. Morton Dexter, A.M. 
Hon. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 

LL.D. 
Hon. William Wallace Crapo, LL.D. 

1896. 
Hon. Francis Cabot Lowell, A.B. 
Granville Stanley Hall, LL.D. 
Alexander Agassiz, LL.D. 
Col. Theodore Ayrault Dodge. 

1897. 
Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, LL.D. 
Rev. Leverett Wilson Spring, D.D. 
Col. William Roscoe Livermore. 
Hon. Richard Olney, LL.D. 
Lucien Carr, A.M. 

1898. 
Rev. George Angier Gordon, D.D. 
John Chipman Gray, LL.D. 
Rev. James De Normandie, D.D. 
Andrew McFaiiand Davis, A.M. 

1899. 
Archibald Cary Coolidge, Ph.D. 
John Noble, LL.D. 
Charles Pickering Bowditch, A.M. 
Rev. Edward Henry Hall, D.D. 

1900. 
James Frothingham Hunnewell, 

A.M. 
Hon. Daniel Henry Chamberlain, 

LL.D. 
Melville Madison Bigelow, LL.D. 



1901. 
Thomas Leonard Livermore, A.M. 
Nathaniel Paine, A.M. 
Charles Gross, Ph.D. 
John Osborne Sumner, A.B. 
Arthur Theodore Lyman, A.M. 
Samuel Lothrop Thorndike, A.M. 

1902. 

Edward Henry Strobel, LL.B. 
Henry Lee Higginson, LL.D. 
Brooks Adams, A.B. 
Grenville Howland Norcross, LL.B. 
Edward Hooker Gilbert, A.B. 

1903. 
Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, A.B. 
Charles Knowles Bolton, A.B. 
Samuel Savage Shaw, LL.B. 
Ephraim Emerton, Ph.D. 
Waldo Lincoln, A.B. 
Frederic Jesup Stimson, LL.B. 
Edward Stanwood, Litt.D. 
Moorfield Storey, A.M. 

1904. 
Thomas Minns, Esq. 
Roger Bigelow Merriman, Ph.D. 
Charles Henry Dalton, Esq. 
Charles Homer Haskins, Ph.D. 

1905. 
Hon. John Davis Long, LL.D. 
Don Gleason Hill, A.M. 
Theodore Clarke Smith, Ph.D. 
Henry Greenleaf Pearson, A.B. 
Bliss Perry, L.H.D. 
Hon. John Lathrop, A.M. 

1906. 
Edwin Doak Mead, Esq. 
Edward Henry Clement, Litt.D. 
William Endicott, A.M. 



HONORARY MEMBERS. 



1871. 
David Masson, LL.D. 

1887. 
Hon. Call Schurz, LL.D. 

1896. 
lit. Hon. James Bryce, D.C.L. 

1899. 
lit. Hon. Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 
Bart, D.C.L. 



1901. 
Pasquale Villari, D.C.L. 

1902. 
Henry Charles Lea, LL.D. 

1904. 
Adolf Harnack, D.D. 
Rt. Hon. John Morley, LL.D. 
Goldwin Smith, D.C.L. 

1905. 
Ernest Lavisse. 



CORRESPONDING MEMBERS. 



1875. 
Hon. John Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hubert Howe Bancroft, A.M. 

1877. 
Gustave Vapereau. 

1878. 

John Austin Stevens, A.B. 
Joseph Florimond Loubat, LL.D. 
Charles Henry Hart, LL.B. 

1879. 

Franklin Bowditeh Dexter, Litt.D. 
John .Marshall Brown, A.M. 
Hon. Andrew Dickson White, LL.D. 
[xvij 



1880. 
Sir James McPherson Le Moine. 
Henry Adams, LL.D. 

1881. 
Rev. Henry Martyn Baird, D.D. 

1883. 
Rev. Charles Richmond Weld, LL.D. 

1887. 
John Andrew Doyle, M.A. 

1891. . 
Alexander Brown, D.C.L. 

1894. 
Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, D.C.L. 



CORRESPONDING MEMBERS. 



XV11 



1896. 

Hon. James Burrill Angell, LL.D. 
William Babcock Weeden, A.M. 
Richard Garnett, LL.D. 

1897. 

Rev. George Park Fisher, D.D. 

Woodrow Wilson, LL.D. 

Hon. Joseph Hodges Choate, D.C.L. 

1898. 

Frederic William Maitland, LL.D. 
John Franklin Jameson, LL.D. 

1899. 
Rev. William Cunningham, LL.D. 

1900. 
Hon. Simeon Eben Baldwin, LL.D. 
John Bassett Moore, LL.D. 

1901. 
Daniel Coit Gilman, LL.D. 
Frederic Harrison, M.A. 
Frederic Bancroft, LL.D. 
Charles Harding Firth, LL.D. 
William James Ashley, M.A. 



1902. 
Edward Gaylord Bourne, Ph.D. 
John Bach McMaster, LL.D. 
Albert Venn Dicey, LL.D. 
Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D. 
John Christopher Schwab, Ph.D. 
Worthington Chauucey Ford, Esq. 

1903. 
Rev. Arthur Blake Ellis, LL.B. 
Auguste Moireau. 
Hon. Horace Davis, LL.D. 

1904. 
Sidney Lee, Litt.D. 
Frederick Jackson Turner, Ph.D. 
Sir Spencer W T alpole, K.C.B. 

1905. 
William Archibald Dunning, LL.D. 
James Schouler, LL.D. 
George Parker Winship, A.M. 
Gabriel Hanotaux. 
Hubert Hall. 



1906. 

Andrew Cunningham 
lin. A.M. 



McLau£h- 



MEMBERS DECEASED. 



Members who have died, or of whose death information has been received, since the last 

volume of Proceedings was issued, February 11, 1905, arranged in the 

order of their election, and with date of death. 

Resident. 

Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr., A.M June 5, 1905. 

William Phineas Upham, A. B Nov. 23, 1905. 

Hon. Stephen Salisbury, A.M Nov. 16, 1905. 

Hon. James Madison Barker, LL.D Oct. 3, 1905. 

[The Membership of John Carver Palfrey, A.M., was terminated by resignation 
Dec. 14, 1905.] 

Corresponding. 

Abbe Henry Raymond Casgrain, Litt. D Feb. 11, 1904. 

Hon. John Hay, LL.D July 1, 1905. 

[The Membership of Hon. William Ashmead Courtenay, LL.D., was terminated by 
resignation Dec. 14, 1905.1 



[xviii] 



PROCEEDINGS 



MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



JANUARY MEETING, 1905. 

THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 12th 
instant, at three o'clock, p. M. In the absence of the 
President, who had gone abroad for the winter and early 
spring, the senior Vice-President, Hon. Samuel A. Green, 
LL.D., was in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved ; and 
reports were presented by the Librarian, the Corresponding 
Secretary, and the Cabinet-Keeper. 

Hon. John D. Long, LL.D., was elected a Resident Member; 
and Professor William A. Dunning, of Columbia University, 
New York, was elected a Corresponding Member. 

The resignation of Rev. Arthur L. Peny, LL.D., as a Resi- 
dent Member, was announced ; and it was stated that a 
vacancy had also been created by the change of domicile of 
James Schouler, LL.D., who had ceased to be a citizen of 
Massachusetts. 

Mr. Charles Henry Hart, of Philadelphia, a Correspond- 
ing Member, read the following paper: — 

Edward Savage, Painter and Engraver, and his Unfinished Copper- 
plate of" The Congress Voting Independence." 

At the meeting of this Society held in November of 1859, 
there was presented, from Samuel T. Snow, " a copper-plate 
engraving of the Declaration of Independence by an unknown 

l 



2 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

artist ; together with the copper-plate itself." x The plate was 
done in the stipple manner and was unfinished. After a few 
impressions were struck off, it was placed in the repository of 
the Society, where it has since remained. Researches made by 
me during the past few years have resulted in ascertaining 
just what this picture was, and who was the "unknown 
artist" who engraved the copper-plate presented by Mr. Snow 
well on to half a century ago. 

Having, at the request of the Historical Society of Penn- 
sylvania, prepared an account of the original painting from 
which the plate this Society owns was made, it is not neces- 
sary to repeat that history here, as it will be found, with a 
reproduction of the painting, in the Pennsylvania Magazine of 
History and Biography for January, 1905. Suffice it to say 
that the picture was painted by Robert Edge Pine, a British 
painter, who came to this country in 1784 and died four years 
later, leaving this painting unfinished; that it is a canvas 
26£ x 19 inches, fractionally larger than the plate, and was most 
aptly called by Pine "The Congress Voting Independence"; 
that it became the property of Edward Savage, who finished 
it; and that it hung in the old Boston Museum, on Tremont 
Street, until 1892, when it was acquired by the writer, and that 
it now belongs to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
My investigations for that history produced the material here 
utilized as being more germane to the copper-plate than to 
the oil painting. 

In a lot of miscellaneous papers I bought at the sale of the 
manuscripts and correspondence of the artist John Trumbull, 
in Philadelphia, several years since, I found, by a singular 
chance, a letter from Edward Savage, son of the painter, to 
Colonel Trumbull, which, introduced by the history I have 
established of the painting, shows that the copper-plate in this 
Society's possession was the work of Edward Savage. 2 The 
letter, which I now have the pleasure of presenting to the So- 
ciety, that it may go with the plate, reads as follows : — 

Boston, April 11th, 1818. 
Sir, — I take the liberty to write to you concerning the print of 
Congress '76 wich my Farther (late Edward Savag) had nerely con- 

' Proc. Mass. Hist. Soc, 1858-GO, p. 391. 

2 I first made public this tact in the Calendar of the Emmet Collection, New 
York Public Lihrary Bulletin, for Decemher, 1897, p. 357. 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 3 

pleated, the same subject I understand you are about Publishing, as 
the one will hurt the other I do propose seling the Plate and Paper 
to you on liberal conditions, which I wish you to name in your letter if 
you see fit to write on the subgect. the Plate is now in a situation that 
it may be Finis'd in a few weeks yours &c &c 

Edw. Savage 
Col Trunbull. 

P S direct yours E. S. Boston 

It is endorsed by Trumbull: "Mr. Edward Savage Boston 
11th April 1818 & Answer. Offer of his Father's picture & 
plate of Independence." Fortunately Colonel Trumbull's 
custom was to draft his reply upon the letter he was answer- 
ing. He wrote : — 

New York 30th April 1818 
Mr. Ed. Savage. 

Sir, — Your fav. of the 11th offering to sell me the plate & painting 
prepared by your Father of the Congress of 1776, came duly to hand. 
My Painting of the subject was begun more than 30 years ago and all 
the heads were soon after secured. My composition is also nearly 
completed ; so that the works of Mr. Savage cannot be of any possible 
use to me. My copper-plate cannot be finished in less than 2 or 3 
years, so that, as yours is nearly ready I shall not interfere with your 
publication. 

I am Sir your obt servt JT 1 

Having thus shown that the unfinished plate under con- 
sideration was the work of Edward Savage, let us pay some 
attention to the career of this Massachusetts painter and en- 
graver, which, so far as I know, has never been traced and 
recorded with that particularity and accuracy bis work and his 
place in the history of American art both deserve and require. 
It is true Dr. Justin Winsor published, in the Harvard Grad- 
uates' Magazine, for 1895, a paper on the portrait of Washington 
painted by Savage for the University, but I regret to say he 
was satisfied to follow and adopt printed authorities not always 
accurate in their statements and deductions, either as to the 
man or to his work. 

1 It seems odd that Trumbull, both in the endorsement of the letter and in his 
answer to Savage, should have made the mistake of supposing he was offered the 
painting, when the letter.distinctly offered only the " Plate and Paper," the latter 
presumably for printing purposes. 



4 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Edward Savage was born in Princeton, Worcester County, 
Massachusetts, November 26, 1761, and died there suddenly, 
July 6, 1817. He was the second child of Seth and Lydia 
(Craige) Savage, and grandson of Edward Savage who came 
from Ireland, to Massachusetts, in 1696, whither his father, 
Abraham Sauvage, had been driven, from St. Algis, Picardy, in 
France, by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Savage 
is said to have been originally a goldsmith, a trade that has 
graduated not a few engravers. He could not, however, have 
followed it for any great length of time, as he was only twenty- 
eiffht when he left Massachusetts for New York, with a letter 
from the President of Harvard to Washington, requesting him 
to sit for his portrait for the University. This is the first 
knowledge we have of Savage as an artist, and we are in pro- 
found ignorance of what preparation he had to essay so im- 
portant a commission. That he had some experience, and 
perhaps instruction, goes without saying, for even though his 
portrait of Washington is not the best art, yet it could not 
have been painted by an absolutely inexperienced tyro. 

President Willard wrote, November 7, 1789 : — 

" Mr. Savage, the bearer of this, who is a painter and is going to 
New York, has called on me and of his own accord has politely and 
generously offered to take your portrait for the university, if you will 
be so kind as to sit. As it would be exceedingly grateful to all the 
governors of this literary society, that the portrait of the man we so 
highly love, esteem and revere, should be the property of and placed 
within Harvard college, permit me Sir, to request the favor of your 
sitting for the purpose which will greatly oblige the whole corporation." 

To it Washington replied : 1 — 

New York 23 December 1789 
Sir, — Your letter of the 7th ultimo was handed to me a few days 
since by Mr. Savage, who is now engaged in taking the portrait, which 
you and the governors of the seminary over which you preside have 
expressed a desire for, that it may be placed in the philosophical cham- 
ber of your University. I am induced Sir, to comply with this request 
from a wish that I may have to gratify, as far as with propriety may be 
done, every reasonable desire of the patrons and promoters of science. 
And at the same time I feel myself nattered by the polite manner in 

1 Sparks's Writings of Washington, vol. x. p. 64. 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 5 

which I am requested to give this proof of my sincere regard and good 
wishes for the prosperity of the University of Cambridge. 
I am Sir, with great esteem 

Your obd. Servt. 

Go. Washington. 
To Joseph Willard, President of Harvard. 

Before the date of his reply, Washington, as we see by his 
letter, had given Savage his first sitting. On December 21st 
he records in his Diary 1 with his accustomed precision : — 

' ' Sat from ten to one o'clock for a Mr. Savage, to draw my Portrait 
for the University of Cambridge, in the State of Massachusetts, at the 
request of the President and Governors of the said University." 

A week later, on December 28th, he enters : — 

" Sat all the forenoon for Mr. Savage who was taking my portrait." 

And on January 6th, 1790, we read: — 

" Sat from half after eight o'clock till ten for the portrait painter 
Mr. Savage, to finish the picture of me which he had begun for the 
University of Cambridge." 

Although the portrait was finished in January of 1790, it 
seems not to have been delivered to Harvard until the end of 
August in the following year. In the meantime Savage painted 
a second portrait of Washington, for John Adams, now, I be- 
lieve, in the possession of the honored head of this Society. This 
second portrait is always spoken of as a replica of the Harvard 
portrait ; but it is clearly not wholly so, for, again on referring 
to the Diary, we find an entry on April 6, 1790 : — 

" Sat for Mr. Savage at the request of the Vice President to have 
my Portrait drawn for him." 

1 The Diary of George Washington from 1789 to 1791, New York, 1860. The 
original Diary in which these entries were written belonged, at the time this 
volume was printed and for many years afterward, to Mr. James Carson Brevoort, 
President of the Long Island Historical Society, at Brooklyn, in whose lihrary I 
saw the two precious manuscript volumes containing the Diary. But since Mr. 
Brevoort's death, in 1887, all trace of these unique personal memorials of Wash- 
ington has been lost, and it would be most gratifying if this note should be the 
cause of revealing their hiding-place. 



6 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

A comparative study of the two portraits, which I have been 
able to make only through the medium of reproductions, 1 
shows that while the details and general characteristics of the 
two are substantially the same, there is a marked difference in 
the expression of the eyes and in the facial line on the left 
side of the face, not to the improvement of the later portrait. 
Each is on a canvas 25 x 30 inches, and Josiah Quincy declared 
the Harvard picture to be the best likeness he had ever seen of 
Washington, " though its merits as a work of art were but 
small." 2 John Adams too must have approved of it, or he 
would not have employed Savage to repeat it for him and asked 
Washington to give the painter sittings for the purpose. To 
me it is a very satisfying portrait, especially in Savage's two 
plates, following as it does quite closely the lines of the 
Houdon bust, which is, as Gilbert Stuart proclaimed, the 
canon by which all portraits of Washington must be judged, 
alt hough Stuart's own famous painting, the Athenseum head, 
falls when tested by it. 

In 1791 Savage went to London, where he is said to have 
studied under Benjamin West, and it is inferred that he 
visited Italy, from the inscription on the whole-length portrait 
of Columbus, engraved by David Edwin, and published by 
Savage, at Philadelphia, in 1800, which states that " the por- 
trait of Columbus is copied from the original picture, by E. 
Savage, in the collection of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, at 
Florence." While in London, he engraved and published, 
after his own paintings, bust portraits, in stipple, of General 
Knox (December 7, 1791) and of Washington (February 7, 
1792), and his well-known three-quarter-length mezzotint por- 
trait of the President (June 25, 1793) seated at a table upon 
which are a cocked hat and a plan of the city of Washington. 
These are the first plates we know Savage to have engraved, 
and it would be very interesting to know who his instructors 
were that he should become so proficient as a stipple engraver 
and mezzotint scraper at the very opening of his career. That 
he must have had instruction, at least in the mechanical process 

1 History of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Wash- 
ington, N. Y., 1892. In this volume the Harvard College portrait is inscribed 
the Adama portrait, and the Adams portrait is inscribed the Harvard College 
portrait, — an error very important to be noted in studying the reproductions of 
tin- two portraits. 

2 Edmund Quincy's Life of Josiah Quincy, Boston, 1867, p. 50. 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 7 

of engraving, beyond what lie might have learned as a gold- 
smith, is quite clear, and no matter who advised him in stip- 
pling, he shows in his portraits of Knox and of Washington, 
in this manner, individual qualities that I know in the work of 
no other engraver. I have yet to see stipple plates executed 
just like these portraits. His mezzotint portrait of the Presi- 
dent was his first work in that style, as he writes to Washing- 
ton from London, October 6, 1793 : — 

" I have taken the liberty to send two prints. The one done from 
the portrait I first sketched in black velvet, labours under some disad- 
vantages as the Likeness never was quite finished. I hope it will meet 
with the approbation of yourself and Mrs. Washington as it is the first 
I ever published in that method of Engraving. The portrait of Doctor 
Franklin which is published as the companion, is done from a picture 
in the possession of Mr. West, President of the Royal Academy. The 
picture has been done some years and was thought very like at the 
time when done. I have the pleasure to inform you that both of those 
prints are approved of by the artists. Particularly Mr. West, whose 
Friendship and servility I have the honor to receive. I expect to 
embark for my native country about March next." 

It is clear, from this letter, that there must have been some 
sittings given by Washington for this portrait " in black velvet," 
or Savage would not say that " the likeness never was quite 
finished. " The original of this mezzotint is painted on a panel, 
14 X 18 inches, the same size as the plate, and is signed " E. 
Savage, 1793." Of course, if it were " sketched " from life and 
" the likeness never was quite finished," it could not have been 
painted in 1793. Savage was then abroad and the date must 
have been placed upon it in London at the time it was finished. 
It is one of the best paintings by Savage that I have seen and 
is owned b}^ the painter's grandson, Mr. Charles H. Savage, of 
Dartford, Wisconsin. The mezzotint is a remarkable example 
of scraping for a first attempt, as is the Knox for a first stipple 
plate, and we know of no prints by Savage before these. Both 
of the^e plates are, in early state, before they became worn, 
as is also the stipple portrait of Washington,' exceedingly fine 
specimens of stipple and of mezzotinto work. That Savage 
was not deficient in the commercial instinct is shown by the 
dubious inscription he placed upon the three-quarter-length 
Washington : u From the Original Portrait painted at the re- 



8 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

quest of the Corporation of the University of Cambridge in 
Massachusetts." l 

Savage returned to this country, and was married at Boston, 
on October 13, 1794, by the Rev. Samuel West to Sarah 
Seaver. 2 Soon after, he settled in Philadelphia, where his eldest 
brother, John Savage, was located as a merchant, and here, in 
July of 1795, he exhibited the first panorama ever shown in 
thai city. It represented London and Westminster, and a 
newspaper of the da\r said it was painted " in a circle and looks 
like reality." It must have been about this time, also, that 
Savage joined forces with Daniel Bo wen, in the New York 
Museum, "a mingled establishment, half painting gallery, half 
museum," says Dunlap, 3 which in 1795 was taken to Boston 
and opened at " The Head of the Mall," as the Columbian 
Museum, its chief attraction being the collection of pictures 
painted by Robert Edge Pine, -and after his death purchased 
from his widow by Bowen , and which were to Washington 
Allston his first masters in the coloring of the figure. 4 The 
Museum, with a large portion of its contents, was burned 
January 15, 1803. In 1806 Bowen and W. M. S. Doyle, an 
indifferent portrait-painter, erected the Museum building on 
Tremont Street, which the next year was destroyed by fire, 
rebuilt, and kept up until 1825, when the Columbian Museum 
passed to the New England Museum. Fifteen years later it 
was purchased by Moses Kimball, who maintained it as the 
Boston Museum for more than half a century. To the gallery 
of this museum Savage contributed several important paintings, 
including his portraits of General Knox, now belonging to 
Clarence W. Bowen, of New York ; of Robert Morris, belong- 
ing to the writer; of the Washington Family, belonging to the 
Democratic Club, New York; and his completion of Pine's 
painting of u The Congress Voting Independence," already 
mentioned. 

While in Philadelphia Savage issued, after his own paint- 
ings, mezzotint portraits of Anthony Wayne (June 1, 1796), 

1 For engravings, by others, after Savage's portraits of Washington, see Nos. 
21 I to 246, in Catalogue of the Engraved Portraits of Washington. By Charles 
Henry Hart. New York, The Grolier Club, 1904. 

2 This lady survived her husband forty-four years, dying at Lancaster, Massa- 
chusetts, January 27, 1801, aged ninety-six. 

• Dunlap'a History of the Arts of Design, N. Y., 1834, vol. ii. p. 261. 
■' Flagg'a Life of Alleton, London, 1893, p. 13. 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 9 

of Dr. Rush (February 6, 1800), and of Jefferson (June 1, 
1800), and folio plates, in stipple, of " Liberty " (June 1, 1796), 
and of "The Washington Family" (March 10, 1798). This 
last picture, well known by his engraving and from copies 
of it, requires more than a passing notice in a memorial of 
Edward Savage, as every one who has written upon the sub- 
ject, that I know, states that the head of Washington in the 
family piece is from the Harvard College portrait, and that of 
Mrs. Washington from the portrait painted for John Adams. 
It is remarkable how such statements can be made and given 
currency when a careful study and comparison of the several 
paintings completely disproves them. The portrait of Wash- 
ington in both pictures, it is true, is three-quarters to right, 
but that of Mrs. Washington, in the Adams painting, is almost 
full face, while in the family picture it is nearly profile. I 
have, however, the record, far more satisfactory than the best 
opinion or most logical deduction, to support my view. 

Among the Washington papers in the Department of State 
at the national capital, I found three letters from Savage to 
Washington and the copy, or draft, of one from Washington to 
Savage, in his own handwriting. The earliest letter I have 
already given. On June 3, 1798, Savage writes to Washington 
from " No. 70 South 4th Street Philadelphia " : — 

u Agreeable to Col Riddle's order I delivered four of the best im- 
pressions of your Family Print. They are choose out of the first that 
was printed. Perhaps you may think that they are two dark, but they 
will change lighter after hanging two or three months. The frames 
are good sound work. I have varnished all the gilded parts which will 
stand the weather and bare washing with a wet cloth without injury. 
The likenesses of the young people are not much like what they are at 
present. The Copper-plate was begun and half finished from the like- 
nesses which I painted in New York in the year 1789. I could not 
make the alterations in the copper to make it like the painting which I 
finished in Philadelphia in the year 1796. The portraits of yourself 
and Mrs Washington are generally thought to be likenesses. As soon 
as I got one of the prints ready to be seen I advertised in two of the 
papers that a subscription would be open for about twenty days. 
Within that time there was 331 subscribers to the print and about 100 
had subscribed previously, all of them the most respectable people 
in the city. In consequence of its success and being generally ap- 
proved of I have continued the Subscription. There is every proba- 
bility at present of its producing me at least $10,000. in one twelve 

2 



10 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

month. As soon as I have one printed in colours I shall take the 
liberty to send it to Mrs Washington for her acceptance. I think she 
will like it better than a plain print. Mrs Savage joins me in respectful 
compliments to Mrs Washington." 

The following very modest advertisement, without Savage's 
name, appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette for March 3, 1798. 

A Print. 

The print, representing General Washington and his Family, all 
whole lengths in one groupe, will be ready for delivery by the 15th of 
March. An unfinished impression is to be seen at Mr. McEl wee's 
Lo 'king Glass store N° 70, South Fourth Street. The subscription 
will close on the 10th of March inst. Subscribers may depend on 
having the best prints at one guinea and a half. To non-subscribers 
the price will be Two guineas. 

To the letter from Savage, Washington replied : — 

Mt. Vernon 17th Jun' '98 
Mr. Ed. Savage 

Sir, — I have been favored with your letter of the 3rd instant and 
pray you to receive my thanks for your attention in chusing the prints 
which you sent to Col. Biddle for my use. As Mrs Washington also 
does for your politeness in presenting her one in colours. We are 
pleased to hear that the undertaking has succeeded so well. Col. 
Biddle I presume has paid you for the first four being so directed. 
Mrs Washington offers her compts to you and Mrs Savage. 
I am your Obdt Servt 

Go. Washington 

A year later to the day, June 17, 1799, Savage writes again 
to Washington, from Philadelphia : — 

" The print I promised to send Mrs Washington was redy last March. 
1 have been so unlucky as to miss every opportunity since till the pres- 
ent one. It is shipt on board the schooner Tryal, Capt Hand, Master. 
Not being acquainted with any one in Alexandra I directed the case 
to care of the Custom House. 

This last winter I discovered the method of Engraving with aqua- 
fortis. In order to prove my experiment I executed two prints which 
is my first specimen in that stile of Engraving. One is the Chase, the 
other the action of the Constellation with the LTusurgent. I have 
put two of those prints into the case for you to see that Method of 
working on Copper. I intend as soon as time will permit to execute a 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 11 

set of large prints of the most striking and beautifull views in America 
in that stile of Engraving as it is best calculated for Landskip and a 
very expeditious method of working. I hope yourself and Mrs Wash- 
ington will excuse the delay of the print; it would have been sent labt 
summer if the sickness had not driven me out of the City before I had 
time to print any in colours. Please present my most respectful com- 
pliments to Mrs Washington and Family." 

Not only does Savage's letter of June 3, 1798, show that 
the portraits of Washington and of Mrs. Washington, in the 
family picture, are not from those painted in 1789, as are 
" the likenesses of the young people," but that they are from 
the painting finished in 1796 ; and the original bust portraits 
of Washington and of Mrs. Washington, painted into the 
Washington Family picture, turned up a dozen years ago in 
Philadelphia, and are now the property of Mr. Luther Kountz, 
of New York, who has them at his summer residence near 
Morristown, in New Jersey, on the site of Washington's en- 
campment, and they are as much superior to the Harvard 
and the Adams paintings as they are different in pose and 
line. 

It is interesting to note that by Mrs. Washington's will she 
made a special bequest to Eleanor Parke Lewis of " a print of 
the Washington Family in a box in the garret," doubtless the 
impression in colors presented to her by Savage ; and that in 
the appraisement of Washington's estate there appears " Chase 
and Action between the Constellation and Insurgent (two 
prints), $4.00," Savage's first specimens of engraving with 
aquafortis. 

As no catalogue has ever been given of the plates executed 
by Savage, I append to this a chronological list of the seven- 
teen plates bearing his name that I know and of the unfinished 
one that I have shown to be his work, and I hope this may be 
the means of drawing others now unknown from their seclu- 
sion. These plates show Savage to have been a much better 
engraver than painter, and this is not a Johnsonian damning 
with faint praise, as his plates, both in stipple and in mezzotint, 
are skilfully and pleasingly executed. The stories promul- 
gated by Dunlap 1 and very commonly adopted and repeated, 2 

1 Dunlap's History of the Arts of Design, vol. i. p. 321. 

2 Baker's American Engravers, p. 155; Fenn. Mag. of Hist, and Bicg., 
January, 1905, p. 84. 



12 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

that Edwin engraved the plates bearing Savage's name, are 
absurd on their face and disproved by dates as well as by 
other data. As late as the present month of the current 
pear, an article entitled "David Edwin, Engraver, by Mantle 
Fielding" in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and 
Biography, repeats the idle tale. On page 84 we read, speak- 
ing of Savage's print of "The Washington Family," "the 
plate was in a great degree the work of Edwin, although 
bearing the name of Savage as the engraver. . . . Savage's 
work was distinctly of the mediocre class ; in fact, it has been 
said that it was chiefly Edwin's good work on the engraving 
of ' The Washington Family ' that made it passable." 

To expose the utter absurdity and fallacy of such statements 
it is only necessary to marshal the simple facts. 

Savage's plate of " The Washington Family" was published 
March 10, 1798. Mr. Fielding says (p. 82) : " It was in the 
month of December, 1797, that David Edwin landed in Phila- 
delphia. . . . He was at this time just twenty-one years of 
age." On arriving he sought employment, not with Edward 
Savage, mark you, but with his countryman T. B. Freeman, a 
publisher, who gave him immediate employment, and " his 
first engraving in America " (p. 83) was the title-page for a 
collection of Scotch songs. Further along, on the same page, 
we read that Freeman published May 1, 1798, portraits of Har- 
wood and of Barnard, the actors, both plates being engraved 
and signed by Edwin. These plates are not insignificant 
small book-plates, but the engraved ovals measure each up- 
wards of six by four inches. Hence we have Edwin engraving 
three plates within five months after his arrival in Philadelphia, 
— a no small accomplishment for a youth of twenty-one fresh 
from his apprenticeship, — and the two portraits are engraved 
with no little care. " The Washington Family " is a large en- 
graving, twenty-four and a half by eighteen and a quarter 
inches, a plate that took several years to execute, as we learn 
from Savage's letter, to Washington, of June 3, 1798. When 
then did Edwin, who was working for Freeman, have the time 
and opportunity to do for Savage the " good work on the 
engraving of 'The Washington Family,'" which plate it will 
be noted was published only little more than two months after 
his ai-rival in Philadelphia? 

But, for the purposes of argument, let us admit that the 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 13 

" good work " on this plate was clone by David Edwin. Then, 
if " Savage's work was distinctly of the mediocre class," so 
that it required Edwin to make " The Washington Family " 
" passable," did not Edwin also do the " good work" on the 
folio stipple plate, published June 1, 1796, eighteen months 
before he arrived in Philadelphia, entitled " Liberty," which 
bears Savage's name as painter and engraver, and which is 
superior in execution to the plate that we are told " was in a 
great degree the work of Edwin " ? For like reasons the stipple 
plates by Savage of. Knox and of Washington, published in 
1791 and 1792, should be claimed for Edwin. And if these, 
why not too all of Savage's mezzotinto plates? It does not 
signify that Edwin is not known to have worked in that 
method. Perhaps Edward Savage did not exist. The name 
may be a pseudonym of David Edwin. Persiflage apart, do 
not the dates and reasons I have given sustain me in stamp- 
ing this claim for Edwin as absurd and baseless? 

David Edwin needs no one's reputation to stand upon but 
his own. He was a great artist in his branch, far beyond 
Savage in ability and mechanical dexterity. It does not help 
him one iota to repeat this groundless claim for him ; but it 
does great injustice to Savage, a man who has done good ser- 
vice in the history of American art, and who deserves our 
recognition for what he has done. I have more than once 
taken occasion to express my high opinion of the work of 
David Edwin. In my introduction to the " Catalogue of the 
Engraved Work of Asher B. Durand, Exhibited at the Grolier 
Club April, 1895," I say (p. 7): "As an engraver Asher 
Brown Durand is facile princeps among his countrymen and 
quite the peer of any of his European contemporaries. . . . 
But this is no insignificant position as long as we can point 
to Edwin, the American Bartolozzi in method, though vastly 
superior in manner, for I have yet to see anything by the Italian- 
Englishman equal to Edwin's best work after Stuart " ; etc. The 
italicized words are adopted by Mr. Fielding as his own on 
page 80, where they are printed without quotation marks or 
acknowledgment. This would seem to be flattery by imitation 
run riot. 

In the exhibition of early American engravings, now being 
held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, there are shown a 
stipple portrait of John Adams and a mezzotint view of " The 



14 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Eruption of Mount Etna," ascribed to Savage, 1 which I doubt 
being his work. I admit that the handling in each of these 
plates resembles other prints by Savage, but neither of them 
bears his name as engraver, while each bears his name as pub- 
lisher. Upon all of his other plates he proudly places his name 
as engraver, even upon insignificant government commercial 
work such as No. 17, in the chronological list. Surely then, if 
he had engraved these two quite important plates, particularly 
the John Adams which is after his own painting, he would 
have stated the fact imperishably upon the plates as he did 
upon those listed. That he did publish prints engraved by 
others is shown by Edwin's plate of Columbus, already men- 
tioned. 

When Savage left Philadelphia and returned to Massa- 
chusetts I do not know, but his name does not appear in the 
Philadelphia Directory after 1801, where he is down as " His- 
torical Painter." Nor are there any engravings by him bearing 
a later date or issued from another place. It must, how- 
ever, have been about this time, as his fifth child was born 
in New York, March 31, 1802, and his sixth child in Prince- 
ton, Massachusetts, August 22, 1805, where his two remain- 
ing children were also born. The copper-plate of the picture 
of u The Congress Voting Independence " was with little doubt 
Savage's latest work. Why it was left unfinished, unless his 
hand was arrested at its work by death, when it required so 
little to be done to complete it, only four faces being blank, 
we can but conjecture. But in any condition it is an inter- 
esting and important historical plate, and as it is of no value 
for printing purposes I beg leave to suggest to this learned 
Society the propriety of having the surface of the plate 
polished and lacquered, so as to preserve it from corrosion, 
and then framed and hung in this hall, where it may be seen 
as a valuable commemorative picture. 

Mr. Charles H. Savage wrote to me several years back : — 

" When I came West in 1865, the family had some three or four hun- 
dred of his engravings of all sorts, mostly of the prominent men of that 
time, Franklin, Knox, Jefferson, and many others. I have tried to find 
out what was done with them, but can get no trace, as my family are all 

dead." 

1 Descriptive Catalogue of an Exhibition of Early Engraving in America, Dec. 
12, 1904- Feb. 6, 1905. Nos. 500 ami 517. 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 15 

Here is "a find" that would be "a find" indeed, if these 
prints could be discovered in their nest. 

Edward Savage was a man of medium height, inclined to 
stoutness, quick in his movements, with brown hair and blue- 
gray eyes. Saint Memin drew and engraved a fine profile por- 
trait of him, which shows a strong head with a keen eye ; and 
his granddaughter, Mrs. Julia C. Cobb, of Waltham, Mass., 
has a good miniature portrait on ivory, painted by his own 
hand and also one of his wife, painted by him before their 
marriage. 

American art has a history which should be cherished and 
preserved, and I hope this contribution, meagre as it is, may 
lead others to reap and garner in like fields as yet un tilled. 

Chronological Catalogue of the Engraved Work of Edward Savage. 

1. 
Henry Knox. 

Full bust, three-quarters to right, in uniform, with order of Cincin- 
nati. Oval. Stipple 

E Savage pinx' & Sculp* | Gen! Knox, LL.D | Secretary at War, 
to the United States of America. | London. Pub. Dec!: 7, 1791 by 
E: Savage N° 29, Charles Street, Midd? Hospital | 

Height, 5.3. Oval height, 4.15. Width, 4.3. 

2. 

Washington. 

Full bust, three-quarters to right, in uniform, with order of Cincin- 
nati. Oval in rectangle. Stipple 

Painted & Engraved by E. Savage. | George Washington Esq r | 
President of the United States of America. | From the Original Pic- 
ture Painted in 1790 for the | Philosophical Chamber, at the Uni- 
versity of Cambridge, | In Massachusetts. | Published Feb^ 7, 1792 by 
E Savage, N° 29 Charles Street, Midd? Hospital. | (Hart 214) 

Height, 7.8. Sub height, 5.3. Width, 4.3. 

A fine copy printed in colors was shown (No. 511) at the Early En- 
graving in America exhibition. 

3. 

Washington. 

Three-quarter length, to right, seated, with legs crossed, at a table, 
upon which are a cocked hat and a plan of the city of Washington. 

Mezzotint 






16 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

E. Savage pinx. et sculp. | George Washington EsqF | President of 
the United States of America. | From the Original Portrait Painted at 
the Request of the Corporation of the University of Cambridge in Mas- 
sachusetts. | Published June 25, 1793, by E. Savage, N? 54, Newman 
Street. | (Hart 228) 

Height, 19.14. Sub height, 17.15. Width, 13.15. 

4. 
Benjamin Franklin. 

Three-quarter length, to left, seated at a table, with chin resting on 
thumb of right hand and in left hand a paper which he is reading. On 
the table are books and to the right a colossal bust. Mezzotint 

D. Martin Pinx 1 — E Savage Sculp! | Benjamin Franklin L.L.D. 
F.R.S. | London Published Sept? 17. 1793. by E. Savage, N? 50 
Hatton Garden | 

Height, 19.10. Sub height, 17.14. Width, 14. 

5. 

William Smith. 

Head and bust, full face to right. Mezzotint 

G. Stuart Pinx* — E: Savage Sculp! | William Smith | of South 
Carolina, L.L.D. | Member of the Congress of the United States. | 
Pub: March II* 1796 by E Savage Philad a | 

Height, 12.5. Sub height, 11. Width, 9. 

A state of this plate is without U LL.D.," and address. 

6. 
Anthony Wayne. 

Half-length, three-quarters to right, in uniform, with order of Cincin- 
nati. Mezzotint 

Painted & Engraved by E Savage — Publish'd June I s .' 1796 by 
E. Savage | General Wayne | 

Height, 12. Sub height, 11.8. Width, 9.5. 

7. 
Muscipula. 

Three-quarter length figure of a young girl, standing, full face to 
right, holding a mouse trap. Mezzotint 

Sir. J: Reynolds Pinx! — E: Savage Sculp! | Muscipula. | Phil? Pub? 
June I s . 1 1796, by E: Savage. | 

Height, 13.2. Sub height, 10.13. Width, 9. 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 17 

8. 
Liberty. 
Whole-length female figure advancing to left, offering, in her right 
hand, a goblet to an eagle. In right distance a liberty pole and cap, 
with flag. Stipple 

Painted & Engrav'd by E. Savage. — Philadelphia Pub? June 11, 
1796, by E: Savage. | Liberty. | In the form of the Goddess of Youth; 
giving Support to the Bald Eagle. | 

Height, 24.12. Sub height, 23.6. Width, 15. 

9. 

David Rittenhouse. 

Three-quarter length, to left, seated at a table, holding paper with 
right hand and pointing to it with the left. Telescope to left. 

Mezzotint 

C. W. Peale Pinx* — Pub. Decf 10* 1796 by E Savage.— 
E. Savage Sculpt | David Rittenhouse. L.L.D. F.R.S. | President 
of the American Philosophical Society. | 

Height, 19.3. Sub height, 17.13. Width, 13.12. 

10. 
Washington Family. 

Group composed of whole-length portraits of Washington, Mrs. 
Washington, Eleanor Parke Custis, George Washington Parke Custis 
and Billy Lee, the general's negro body servant. Washington, in 
uniform, seated to right, on left of print, at a table, in the centre, with 
left hand upon map of the District of Columbia, and right arm upon 
shoulder of young Custis, who is standing, to left, with right hand upon 
a globe. Mrs. Washington sits at the other end of the table facing 
Washington, with Nelly Custis to her right and Billy Lee behind her 
chair. Stipple 

Painted & Engrav'd by E : Savage | The Washington Family. | 
George Washington, his Lady and her two grand children by the 
name of Custis. | [Title repeated in French.] | Philadelphia. Publish'd 
March 10* 1798. by E: Savage & Rob* Wilkinson N? 58 Cornhill 
London. | (Hart 235) 

Height, 19.13. Sub height, 18.5. Width, 24.8. 

11. 

The Chace. 

Ship under full sail carrying the American flag, following, to ricrht, 
in offing, a ship also under full sail carrying the French flag. 

Aquatint 






18 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Painted & Engraved by E. Savage — Philad? Published by E. 
Savage. May 20 th 1799. | Constellation & L'Insurgent~ the Chace. | 
Height, 14.6. Sub height, 13.10. Width, 20. 

12. 
The Action. 

Naval battleship, with top-sails set perforated with shot, flying 
American flag, firing broadside into ship partly dismantled. Aquatint 

Painted & Engraved by E. Savage. — Philadf Published by E. 
Savage May 20 1799. | Action between the Constellation and L'ln- 
surgent. | On the 9 1 ! 1 February 1799. | Off the Island of S< Christophers, 
when after an hard fought battle of one hour and a quarter the Frigate 
of the Directory yielded | to superior skill and bravery. Killed on 
board L'Insurgent 29. Wounded 46. Constellation 1 killed. 3 
wounded. | [Bracketed on either side of inscription.] Force of the 
Constellation | Guns 36. | Men 310. | — Force of the Insurgent | 
40 Guns | 18 Brass Swivels | 409 Men | 

Height, 14.8. Sub height, 13.10. Width, 20. 

The only impressions of Nos. 10 and 11, that I know, are in the 
possession of Mr. Charles H. Taylor, Jr., of Boston. Can it be that 
they are the prints that Savage sent to Washington ? Vide, page 10. 

13. 

Benjamin Mush. 
Full bust, three quarters to right. Mezzotint 

Painted & Engraved by E Savage | Benjamin Rush, | Professor of 

Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania | Philada. Published by 

E. Savage Feb : 6. 1800 | 

Height, 15.8. Sub height, 13.8. Width, 11.8. 

14. 

Thomas Jefferson. 
Full bust three quarters to right. Mezzotint 

E Savage Pinx & sc. — Philad* Published June 1, 1800. J j Thomas 
Jefferson. | 

Height, 9.12. Sub height, 9.7. Width, 7.14. 

15. 

Washington. 

Whole length standing, full front, head to left. Stuart's Lansdowne 
portrait. Mezzotint 

E. Savage Execu^ 1801 | George Washington | (Hart 293) 

Height, 27. Sub height, 26.6. Width, 20.5. 



1905.] EDWARD SAVAGE, PAINTER AND ENGRAVER. 19 



16. 
Nathaniel Russell. 

Head and bust, full face to right. Mezzotint 

E. Savage pin & Sculp' | Nathaniel Russell, Esq!; | 
Height, 7.12. Sub height, 7.3. Width, 5.14. 
The first line is in faint scratched letters. 

17. 
Ship's Paper. 

Heading to document, two engravings, one above the other, each 
enclosed with border lines. Above, indented, sailing vessel going to 
right under full sail. Below, a lighthouse on a ledge, with shipping 
around. In left distance a town with six steeples, wall and guns along 
water front. Etching 

E. Savage Fc. | 

No. 1. Height, 2.10. Width, 6.3. No. 2. Height, 2.11. Width, 
6.13. 

The only copy I have seen is on United States pass for ship Ophelia, 
dated January 15, 1805, signed by Jefferson, President, and by Madison, 
Secretary of State. 

18. 
" The Congress Voting Independence." 

Unfinished plate, by Savage, from the painting begun by Robert Edge 
Fine, and finished by Savage. Group of thirty-two persons, four faces 
blank, in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, fully described • in the 
writer's monograph upon the painting in the Pennsylvania Magazine of 
History and Biography, for January, 1905. 

The copper-plate belongs to the Massachusetts Historical Society, 
from which some impressions were printed in 1859, when the plate 
was presented to the Society. That it was engraved by Edward Savage 
is shown in the paper to which this chronological catalogue is an 
addendum. Stipple 

Height, 18.9. Width, 25.11. 

Note. 

The stipple portrait of John Adams and the mezzotint of The Erup- 
tion of Mount Etna, numbers 506, 507, and 517, of the exhibition of 
early engraving in America, are not included in this catalogue for 
the reason that there is nothing to show they are the work of Edward 
Savage, as explained on page 14. 



20 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Iii the absence of Mr. John Noble, through illness, the 
senior Vice-President communicated the following paper by 
title: — 

An Incident in 1731 in the Long Dispute of Massachusetts and 
Rhode Island over their Boundary Line. 

The four documents submitted to-day are copies of papers 
in the Early Court Files of Suffolk. They are meagre and 
dry in themselves. Whatever interest belongs to them lies 
partly in the fact that they have been so long hidden in a 
multitudinous collection of miscellaneous papers, until now 
practically inaccessible. They could not have come under 
the eye of our associate Mr. Goodell in his indefatigable re- 
search while editing the Province Laws, — that work in itself 
monumental and of almost incalculable value and interest to 
the history of Massachusetts. The other and main ground of 
interest belonging to them is that they are fragments of one 
more illustration of that jealousy with which Massachusetts, 
whether as Colony, Province, or Commonwealth, has held and 
guarded her claims, whatever they be, so long as believed to 
be just, — of her regard for the rights of her citizens, and 
her prompt and vigorous enforcement of them whenever and 
wherever assailed. Her action has always been in accordance 
with the proud motto of her seal. Its Latinity may have been 
questioned, but is sounder than man}' of the criticisms on it, 
and is a better expression of her temper and spirit than any 
misapplied opening proclamation of a last will and testament 
or the wind-up of a benediction. 

From the earliest days certain boundaries were in dispute. 
Those between the colonies of New Plymouth and the Massa- 
chusetts Bay were settled by the union in 1691 ; the Connec- 
ticut line in 1713, and the New Hampshire line in 1737. The 
controversy with Rhode Island lasted some century and a half. 
It was not until 1862 that the conflicting claims were settled 
by a decree of the Supreme Court of the United States in a 
suit in equity between the two States. 

Chapter 48 of the Acts of 1862 referring to this decree 
— entered 16 December, 1861, to take effect March 1, 1862 — 
provides, in connection with chapter 150, for the regulation 
of suits at law affected by the establishment of this boundary 



1905.] BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTE. 21 

line ;' chapter 50 takes care of the counsel fees, costs, and 
expenses; and chapter 19 of the Resolves of 1863 makes an 
appropriation for the erection of permanent stone monuments 
to mark the line. 

Thus ended the vexed question and the long and bitter 
controversy. 

It is not purposed to deal with this venerable dispute ; only 
to touch upon the legislation and some matters in 1731 and 
shortly after, which are necessary to explain these old papers 
and show the action of Massachusetts at this time when the 
trouble had reached one of its acute stages. 

The storm centre was Attleborough, incorporated as a town 
in 1694, with extensive limits and a name from the old English 
town near Bungay Castle, the seat of the Mortimers, Earls 
of March. It included then much territory now belonging to 
Rhode Island. 

How enduring a thing town pride is comes out in the storm 
of opposition, one hundred and thirty years later, which the 
conventional line proposed in the equity suit encountered ; the 
town meeting in 1860, — its strenuous series of resolutions ; 
its appropriation the next year of $500 to defeat the obnoxious 
boundary, which gave three hundred acres of the town to 
Rhode Island ; its final acquiescence only out' of loyalty to 
the nation coupled with necessity. 

The disturbance in 1731 began in an attempt of the town 
to levy and collect taxes within the territory claimed by each 
government. Rhode Island authorities interfered ; Massa- 
chusetts backed her own citizens. The Great and General 
Court came out with this vigorous order in 1730: — 

CHAPTER 153. 

ORDER FOR A LETTER TO RHODE ISLAND GOVERNM PROTESTING 
AGAINST THEIR ACTION ON THE ATTLEBORO' AFFAIR. 

WHEREAS this Court is advised that the Constable or Collector of 
the Town of Attleboro' in the County of Bristol hath been lately 
impeded in gathering in his Rates from some of the Inhabitants of that 
Town by M r Justice Jonathan Sprague of the Colony of Rhode Island 
issuing out a Warrant to apprehend the Constable & his Aid in collect- 
ing the Rates from Cpt. Joseph Brown & ordering them to be con- 
vented before his Majestys Justices for the Town of Providence in the 
Colony of Rhode Island aforesaid, under pretence that the said Brown 



22 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

is taken into the Colony by vertue of an Act of the General Assembly 
there ; Which Proceedings of M r Justice Sprague (considering the Lands 
& Estate so taxed by the Town of Attleboro' have been allowed for a 
long time to be within the Boundaries of this Governm*) the Court 
adjudge cannot be justified ; 

Ordered that M r Secretary acquaint by Letter, in the Name of this 
Governm* the Hon ble Joseph Jenks Esq r Govern' of that Colony with 
the Proceedure of the aforesaid Justice that he seasonably put a Stop 
to that Affair, & for the future prevent all such Practices. 1 [Passed 

October 22. 

* 

By an order passed January 1, at the same session " taking 
into Consideration a Letter from the General Assembly of 
the Colony of Rhode Island to this Court, Dated the tenth of 
the last Month," proposing a joint commission " for Settling the 
Divisional Line," commissioners were duly appointed. Their 
determination was to be final, provided the same full powers 
were given to those on the part of Rhode Island, and " all 
Processes in the Law against any Persons that border on the 
said Line for Rates & Taxes to either Governm 1 suspended 
in the mean time," provided the like order was given on the 
other side. 2 Somewhat later, March, 1731, an order made the 
major part of such commission a quorum, whose determination 
was to be equally valid and final. 3 

June 3 the members of the commission were made " a Com- 
mitee to consider what may be proper to be done by this 
Court with respect to the inhabitants of this Province that 
border on said Boundary, & report as soon as m?vj be." 4 

This committee made their report June 18, being the first of 
the four papers from the Suffolk Files, which is also to be 
found in the Province Laws. 5 

The Committee appointed by this Court to Consider what may be 
proper for this Court to Do with Respect to the inhabitants of this 
Province that Border on the Bounds of that part of the Province 
formerly Plymouth & the Colony of Rhode Island Do Humbly offer 

That inasmuch as the Commissioners appointed by the Government 
of Rhode Island have not agreed with Commissioners of this Gov- 
ernment to Setle & Establish the River Called Patuckett to be 
the Bounds between that part of this province formerly Plymouth & 

1 Province Laws, vol. si. p. 523. 2 Ibid., p. 532. 

e Ibid., p. 568. « Ibid., p. 584. 

6 Ibid., p. 591. 



1905.] BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTE. 23 

the Colony of Rhode Island Notwithstanding the charter granted in 
1627 to the Company of Plymouth bounds them on the Said River 
and ever Since has been under that Government & the Massachuetts 
the Land between the s d . River & the town of Rehoboth purchased 
by Some persons of that town upwards of Sixty years & confirmed 
& added thereto by the Generall Court of the Late colony of Ply 
mouth and altho' iu the year 1664 Commissioners from the Crown 
thereunto authorized Did make a Setlement of the Bounds between 
the then two Colonys of Plymouth & Rhode Island untill His Majesty s 
pleasure should be known vizt : the s d River of Patuckett untill the 
Same comes to the Massachuetts South Bounds & which has been 
acknowledged ever Since [ l by the Govern 1 of Rhode Island] and fur- 
ther confirmed to the town of Rehoboth within this province by the 
Royall Charter Granted by King William & Queen Mary and whereas 
this Court Did order in the appointment of Commissioners to agree the 
s d Bounds that all processes in the law against any persons that Border 
on the s d Line [ 2 should] for Rates & taxes should be suspended in the 
mean time therefore that all the persons inhabiting on the land to the 
eastward of the s d River be obliged to pay the Rates & taxes that 
they or their Estates have been [*■ or shall be] assessed & Do all Dutys 
& enjoy all the Previledges that any other the inhabitants of this Prov- 
ince Do or ought to Do notwithstanding the s d order of Suspention 
or other pretence whatever all which is Submitted by 

W M Dudley by order & in 
the name of the Committee 

In Council ; June 18, 1731 ; Read & Ordered that this Report be 
Accepted : Sent down for Concurrence 

J. Willard, Secry. 

In the House of Reptives June 18, 1731 Read and Concurred 

J. Quincy, aS^*:. 
June 18, 1731 Consented to 

J. Belcher. 
Endorsed. 

Report of the Comm e appointed to consider of the Inhabts that border on R. 
Island etc. June 1731 

(Early Court Files Suffolk — N° 31639. — 2.) 

There seems to have been some hitch in the proceedings of 
the commission to establish a boundary line. 

In fact such appear to have occurred constantly, sometimes 
on one ground, sometimes on another. In justice to Rhode 

1 Interlined in the original. 2 Cancelled in the original. 



24 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Island it should be said that the attitude of its government 
seems to have been somewhat more conciliatory than that 
of Massachusetts, though both were working to the same 
end. Massachusetts evidently felt it had right on its side 
and was unwilling to make concessions ; Rhode Island was 
reluctant. 

At this stage comes the second of the Suffolk Court Files 
papers, the Act of the Rhode Island Assembly, as follows : — 

At a Geir"' 1 Court of Assembly of his Maj f ? Colony of Rhode Island 
& Providence Plantations held at Newport by Adjournm : the Second 
Monday of June in the fifth Year f 1 of y e Reign] of his Maj { . s [ 2 Reign] 
George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain &c. King 
Annoq e Dom : 1731. 

Forasmuch as the Province of the Massachusets Bay having by their 
Commissioners refused to Run and Settle the Line between this Colony 
and that part of y e Province late Plymouth Colony And their being an 
Act of Each Government that those People that Live on the Land 
controverted Should be exempted from all Processes for Rates and Taxes 
to either Government till the Same be done. 

It is therefore Enacted by the Gen r " Assembly & It is hereby ordered 
and Declared that Justice Jonathan Sprague of Smithfield do Set up 
Prohibitions in Severall Publick Places on those Lands in Controver- 
sey forbidding any Persons whatsoever from levying any Rates or Taxes 
in any of Said Land or the Persons of any Living thereon or Exercise 
any Jurisdiction therein untill the Boundary between the s d . two Govern- 
ments be Decided. 

A True Copy of Record Exam 

Per R Ward Secry 
Endorsed. 

Rhode Island Law for Justice Sprague 

(Early Court Files of Suffolk, No. 31639-1.) 

Almost immediately follows the prohibition issued by Mr. 
Justice Jonathan Sprague, in accordance with the Act of the 
Assembly. This document is not a regular prerogative writ 
issued only by supreme judicial authority, but a sort of 
anomalous warning order of a different character, — a proc- 
lamation given to the world in general, and especially to any 
offenders in expectancy, and issued by a magistrate under 
legislative authority only. 

Mr. Justice Jonathan Sprague was merely a Justice of the 

1 Interlined in the original. 2 Cancelled in the original. 



1905.] BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTE. 25 

Peace within the Colony of Rhode Island. 1 His prohibi- 
tion, the third of the papers from the Suffolk Files, runs as 
follows : — 

A PROHIBITION. 

Whereas There hath been a Controversy between the Province of 
the Massachusets Bay & the Colony of Rhoad Island respecting the 
Bounds betwixt the two s d Governments, Viz the Western Bounds of 
the s d Province & the Eastern Bounds of the s d Colony & y e two s d 
two Governments having taken the Matter into Consideration & in 
order to make Peace & good Neighbourhood betwixt them, did by 
their several Acts of Assemblys respectively appoint & impower 
Commissioners to compromise the Difference & settle the s d Bounds 
in Dispute, & did also in s d Acts declare, that y e Inhabitants dwelling 
on s d Land in Controversy, should be free from any Process in Law 
Respecting any Rates or Taxes untill the s d Difference was ended, & 
yet nevertheless there are some Persons in AttleBorough who have 
given out Word that they will take Rates from those Persons [ 
dwell upon the s d Land in Dispute, having no Regard [ ] the 

s d Acts of Assemblys made & passed to the Contrary & whereas the 
s d Colony of Rhoad Island by Act of Assembly hath Impowred & or- 
dered Me the subscriber to grant Prohibitions on y* Ace' 

These are therefore in his Majesties Name George the second King 
of Great Britain &c. to forewarn & forbid all Persons of either Govern- 
ment at their utmost Perils to use any Authority in demanding, Levy- 
ing, or forcing any Rates or Taxes from any of the Inhabitants Dwelling 
or that shall dwell on y e s d Land in Controversy untill the s d Line & 
Bounds shall be settled & fully agreed upon. 

Given under my hand & Seal in Smithfield this last Day of June 
AD 1731 & in the fifth Year of his Majesties Reign 
Signed per order of Assembly By 

Jonathan Sprague justice 
Endorsed Justice Sprag[ue] Prohibition. 

(Early Court Files, Suffolk, No. 165361.) 

The outcome of this appears in the vote passed July 31 at 
the session of the General Court begun at Boston, May 26, 1731. 

CHAPTER 55. 

VOTE ON HENRY JOCLYN'S MEMORIAL, PRAYING FOR RELEASE FROM 
PRISON, AND ORDERING THE ARREST OF SUNDRY PERSONS. 

A Memorial of Henry Jocelyn One of the late Constables of the 
Town of Attleborough in the County of Bristol setting forth that He 

1 For proceedings of Rhode Island in connection with this, see Rhode Island 
Colonial Records, vol. iv. pp. 452, 453. 



26 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

being in the Execution of his Office in Collecting Taxes, Committed to 
him of the Inhabitants of the said Town was on the nineteenth Instant 
forceably seized by one Job Bartlet & others under pretence of a War- 
rant from Jonathan Sprague & William Arnold Esq rs - Justices of the 
peace within the County of Providence in the Colony of Rhode Island 
& committed to the common Goal of y e s d County where he is re- 
strained of his Liberty praying Relief from this Court. 

Benjamin Lynde Esq r from the Committee of both Houses on the 
Memorial of Henry Jocelyn gave in the following Report Viz 1 

In Answer to the Complaint of Henry Jocelyn One of y e Constables 
of Attleboro, now a prisoner in the Common Goal at Providence in 
the Governm 1 of Rhode Island, The Committee are of Opinion that the 
said Imprisonm 1 of the said Joscelyn is wrong & oppressive, & that he 
ouo-ht forthwith to be discharged, & that Job Bartlet together with his 
Assistants Joseph Brown Joseph Razy Daniel Wilson & Josiah Fish be- 
ino- all of them known & allowed Inhabitants of Attleboro', Joseph 
Staples & Nathaniel Staples in like manner Inhabitants of Bellingham 
& Wrentham & for many years have as well enjoyed the priviledges as 
performed the Duties of Inhabitants of this province within their re- 
spective Towns were guilty of a great Misdemeanor viz, the s d Job 
Bartlet in Seizing & the others in Assisting him forceably to carry the 
s d Jocelyn out of this province to a prison within the Governm 1 of Rhode 
Island, at a Time when the said Jocelyn was in the Execution of his 
Office viz. Collecting the publick Taxes of Attleboro' that were Com- 
mitted to him, And therefore that the Sheriffs of the Counties of Bristol 
& Suffolk be Ordered to Apprehend the s d Job Bartlet & others & bring 
them before this Court to Answer for their great Offence as aforesaid. 

By order of the Committee 

Benjamin Lynde 

Read & 

Voted that this Report be accepted & that Warrants be issued out ac- 
cordingly, and that His Excellency be humbly requested to write to the 
Governour of Rhode Island desiring him to Order the release of the s d 
Jocelyn, & that for the Time to come His Majesty's Officers of this 
province be not Obstructed in the Execution of y r Office by any War- 
rants or Directions from that Governm'- 1 [Passed July 27. 

Then comes, on the 18th of August, an order of the General 
Court to the Sheriff of Suffolk to " Commit Job Bartlett, Josiah 
Racey, Daniel Wilkinson, Joseph Staples and Gideon Tower 
to his Majesty's Goal in said County." 

This was followed by an order for their prosecution : — 

1 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 603. 



1905.] BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTE. 27 

CHAPTER 77. 

ORDER FOR PROSECUTING JOB BARTLET & OTHERS. 

Ordered that Henry Jocelyn late Constable of the Town of Attleboro' 
recognize before one of his Majesty's Justices of the peace for the 
County of Bristol in the Sum of One Hundred pounds for his Appear- 
ance at the next Superiour Court of Judicature Court of Assize & Gen- 
eral Goal Delivery to be holden at Bristol for the s d County, then & 
there to bring forward and prosecute his Complaint lately exhibited to 
this Court against Job Bartlet & others for seizing & carrying him the 
s d Jocelyn to providence Goal on the 19 th of July last, And that Charles 
Church Esq r Sheriff of y e County aforesaid also recognize before some 
Justice of the peace for y e same County in the Sum of One Hundred 
pounds to appear at the s d Court to prosecute his Complaint against 
the s d Job Bartlet & others for insulting & Abusing of him & his 
Assistants while in the Execution of a Warrant from his Excellency the 
Goven r (the 27 of s d July) pursuant to a Vote of this Great & Gen- 
eral Court or Assembly, And y l the s d Sheriff take effectual care that 
y e Witnesses timely recognize before some Justice of y e peace in a Sum 
not exceeding Ten pounds each, for their Appearance at the Court 
afores d to give Evidence on his Majesty's Behalf relating to the s d 
Complaints or Either of them. And y l it be & hereby is recommended 
to one or more of His Majesty's Justices of the afores d County forth- 
with to Issue out a Warrant for Apprehending Joseph Brown of Attle- 
boro' afores d in Order- to his recognizing in the Sum of Three Hundred 
pounds as Principal with two Sufficient Sureties in the Sum of One 
Hundred & fifty pounds each (the Sureties to be Inhabitants of this 
province, except such as dwell on the Gore of Land) Condition for s d 
Brown's Appearance at the Court afores d to answer to what shall then 
& there be Objected against him on his Majesty's Behalf, more espe- 
cially the Complaint of the aforenamed Henry Joslyn for his Assisting 
the before named Job Bartlet in Seizing & carrying the s d Joslyn to 
y & Goal aforesaid & also to the Complaint of the s d M r Sheriff Church, 
& to be of the good Behaviour in the mean Time, And that the Com- 
p[l]ain ts be & hereby are directed & Impowered to Improve One or 
more Attorneys to assist them in bringing forward & prosecuting their 
s d Complaints ; The Charge of the prosecution to be born by this 
province 1 . [Passed August 21. 

September 23, an order of both Houses originating in the 
House of Representatives appointed a " Committee to take 
under Consideration the Controversy referring to the Boun- 

l Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 613. 



28 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

dary Line between this Province & the Colony of Rhode Island 
& report as soon as may be what may be proper for this Court 
further to do thereon." 1 

October 5 a committee was appointed " to prepare the 
Draught of Instructions to the Agent with respect to the 
boundary line." 2 

January 26, 1732, an allowance was made to Jocelyn, who 
had been imprisoned in Rhode Island, of £15 3s. "in Consid- 
eration of y c Charge Exp ce & Loss of Time he has Sustained in 
y c Service of y e Governm 1 ." 3 

The order of September 23 may have been impracticable or 
unnecessary of execution by reason of personal situation, pub- 
lic negotiations or legislation, as no such suit as contemplated 
appears on the Records. 

An Act of the General Court was passed February 2, 1732, 
setting forth in the preamble the action of the Rhode Island 
Assembly which proposed a commission of " disinterested per- 
sons to hear and determine this controversy," and authorizing 
and empowering as its representatives on such commission 
three designated men of Connecticut "to meet" the three 
men of New York selected by Rhode Island and to " deter- 
mine under whose jurisdiction or governm' the said tract of 
land shall be and remain hereafter" ; with a proviso "that the 
inhabitants on the said land do in the meantime and till such 
determination . . . pay all taxes that have been or shall be 
laid on them and their lands, according to the laws of this 
province ; the said inhabitants having been subjected in like 
manner ever since their first settlem 1 " — with a further proviso 
that " the general Assembly of the Colony of Rhoad Island 
come into an Act like to this in Substance." 4 

January 26 a committee had been appointed by both Houses 
" to meet the Comiss rs ... in Order to Set forth the Right 
of this Province to the land in Controversy." 5 

The fourth paper from the Suffolk Files is a Mittimus is- 
sued by Jonathan Sprague, March 24, 1732, as follows : — 

1 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 616. 2 Ibid., p. 620. 

8 Ibid., p. 040. * Ibid., p. 624. * Ibid., p. 640. 



1905.] BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTE. 29 

©To Dan! 1 Abbot Esq" Keeper of his majesties Goal in 
Providence in yf County of Providence in yf Colony of 
Bhoad Island &c these Greeting Forasmuch as this pres- 
ent Day John Bobbins & Benj^ Slack & Benj a Crab tree 
& [ x Timothy] Tingley all of Attleborough in yf County 
of Bristol in yf Province of yf massachusetts Bay was 

©brought before us the subscribers for taking and strain- 
ing a Rate from Benj a Brown on yf 22 d Day of this 
Instant march an Inhabitor of yf Gore of Land in Ccn- 
troversey between yf Colony of Rhoad Island & yf Prov- 
ince of the massachusetts Bay Wherefore yf afores d 
men Refusing to Give bail to answer yf aforesd fact at yf next In- 
feriour Court of Common pleas to be held at Providence in the County 
of Providence afores? these are therefore in his majesties name Georg 
yf Second King of Great Brittain to Require you to Receive the Bodys 
of the said John Robbins & Benj a Slack & Bcnj a Crabtree and Timo- 
they Tingley into your Custody & them Secure untill they Give suffi- 
cient bond as aforesd or be Legally Discharged by order of a Due 
Course of Law hereof fail not 

Given under our hands and seals yf twenty fourth Day of march in 
yf fifth year of his s* majesties Reign A D 1731/32. 

Jonathan Sprague Jar Justice 
Vallintine Whitman Justice 
Vera Copia 

per Daniell Abbot Sheriff 
Copy Exam*? per J Willard Secry 

A true Copy as on File Ex d 

per Tim° Fales Cler 
Endorsed Mittimus Copy. 

(Early Court Files, Suffolk, N° 165361. 1.) 

That this Mittimus was executed appears by the petition of 
the four persons therein named. " committed to the common Goal 
in Providence & there Confined till they could procure Bail 
. . . Praying the Direction & Assistance of this Court for 
y T releif in y e Premisses," and the vote of the General Court 
thereon employing u M r Elkanah Leonard of Middleboro At- 
torney at Law" to appear at court in their behalf " at the 
Charge of the Province." 2 

The Resolve of June 16, 1732, limits the time for a report 
from the commission on the boundary line " to the Space of 

1 Interlined in the original. 2 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 651. 



30 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Eighteen Months from this Date not to Exceed that Time & as 
much sooner as they please & can attend it." 1 

A vote was passed June 28, 1732, authorizing the Sheriff of 
Bristol and other officers to pull down the obnoxious papers 
of Jonathan Sprague, and enjoining the " Collect ors of Attle- 
boro " " to do their Duty in Collecting the Rates and Taxes,'' 
as follows : — 

CHAPTER 28. 

VOTE IMPOWERIXG THE SHERIFF TO PULL DOWN AND DESTROY JONA- 
THAN SPRAGUE'S PAPERS IN REGARD TO THE AUTHORITY OF THIS 
PROVINCE ALONG THE RHODE ISLAND LINE. 

WHEREAS this Court hath received Information that Jonathan 
Sprague of Smithfield in the Colony of Rhode Island Esq r Hath presumed 
to post up or cause to be posted up Papers forewarning & forbidding all 
persons not only in that but even in this Governm* at their utmost peril 
from using any Authority in Demanding or Receiving any Rates & 
Taxes from any of the Inhabitants that are or shall be Dwellers on a 
Tract of Land to the Eastward of Patucket River until the Line or 
Boundary there between the two Govern m ts shall be finally agreed & 
settled, contrary to the Design & express Words of the Act pass'd this 
Court at their last Session for appointing Commission" to Determine 
that Boundary tending greatly to the Dishonour of this Governm* & 
the Obstruction of the Collect" of the Town of Attlebord from doing 
their Duty in Collecting the Rates & Taxes of the Inhabitants of s d 
Town committed to them to Collect. 

VOTED that the Sheriff of the County of Bristol & all his Under 
Officers together with the Constables of the Town of Attlebor6 be & 
hereby are required on Sight of any such Paper or Prohibition to pull 
down & deface the same, and the respective Collect" of Attleboro 
are also required & strictly enjoined to do their Duty in Collecting the 
Rates & Taxes committed to them, especially from the Inhabitants of 
the s d Tract of Land, wherein they may be Assured of the protection 
of this Governnr" & that Copies of this Order be forthwith printed, & 
sent to the Constables of Attleboro, & posted up there & dispersed to & 
among the Inhabitants of the Gore. 2 [Passed June 28. 

In spite of all the hindrances and delays continually occur- 
ring in the settlement of the controversy, the Province reso- 
lutely kept on and pressed its claims. 

By chapter 57 of the Resolves of the same session a 
committee was appointed " to lay before the Comissioners 

1 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 655. 2 Ibid., p. 660. 



1905.J BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTE. 31 

appointed to settle y e Line or boundary . . . the Right this 
Province hath to the Gore of Land in Controversy ... & to 
receive y e Determination of the Commission™," passed July 7, 
1732.1 

Meantime the Province meant to hold on to what it had 
held in the past, and an order was passed December 8, 1732, 
" Whereas the Divisional Line . . . has not been renewed or 
perambulated since the Settling thereof Anno 1719," appoint- 
ing a committee to meet with a like committee to be ap- 
pointed by the Rhode Island government " to perambulate or 
renew the Bounds or Divisional Line . . . agreeable to the 
Settlem* of s d Line . . . the 14 th day of May 1719." 2 

Major Brattle was added to this committee by chapter 3 of 
the Resolves of the Session at Boston, May 30, 1733, " on the 
affair of the Gore." 3 

Nothing apparently having come out of the commission 
heretofore appointed, on the 26 April, 1733, another Act was 
passed, nearly identical with the former, naming the same 
commissioners, and adding certain provisions to secure greater 
efficiency and more satisfactory results. A time was fixed for 
their meeting, July 3 d next ensuing, and for the delivery of 
their award on or before the last Wednesday of August next 
ensuing, to a designated committee on the part of the General 
Court. It provided that all processes for rates or taxes levied by 
the laws or authority of the Province should cease and be sus- 
pended until such delivery, with a proviso, as before, that 
Rhode Island should pass an Act to the same effect. 4 

An order was passed June 19 for the Treasurer of the Prov- 
ince u to Deliver to the Comm tee of this Court appointed to 
attend the Commissioners on the Affair of the Gore at Attle- 
boro the Sum of Three Hundred Pounds to enable them to 
defray the Charge of Settling the Controversy there, which 
Sum is part of the Residue of the Sum of Three Thousand 
Pounds put into his Hands to purchase Seven Hundred 
pounds Sterling with to be sent to M r Agent Wilks." 5 

On the 25 tb of August it was voted u that the Committee 
appointed to prepare Instructions in the Recess of the Court to 
M r Agent Wilks, give it as a Direction to him, that he take all 

1 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 673. 2 Ibid., p. 687. 

s Ibid., p. 713. ^ n,id., vol. ii. p. 665., 

5 Ibid., vol. xi. p. 722. 



32 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

possible Care that no Determination be made which ma}' affect 
Property in the Settlements of the Boundaries of this province 
and the province of New Hampshire, & also between this prov- 
ince & the Colony of Rhode-Island." * 

On the 2 d November, it appearing that the time fixed for the 
delivery of the award of the commission in the Act creating 
it, the last Wednesday of August, 1733, had expired and no 
settlement had been reached, the General Court passed a some- 
what strenuous order. 

CHAPTER 119. 

VOTE REFERRING TO THE GORE AT ATTLEBORO. 

FORASMUCH as the earnest Endeavours of this Government to 
settle the line between that part of this province lately the Colony of 
Plimouth, & the Colony of Rhode-Island have proved ineffectual, & inas- 
much as it was agreed & ordered by both Governments that there 
should be a Suspension of all process as to Rates & Taxes &c to the 
last Wednesday of August last, but no longer in Case there was no 
Award given in under the Hands & Seals of the Comm rs for settling 
the Line aforesaid, It is therefore 

ORDERED by this Court & the Authority thereof that the Sheriffs 
& Under Sheriffs of the Counties of Suffolk, Bristol & Worcester be & 
hereby are required & impowered to take such Aid as they may think 
necessary to assist them in serving such lawfull Writts on any of the 
Inhabitants of the said Gore, & also to seize & bring to Justice 
any that shall oppose them therein, as also that the Constables of the 
Towns of Attleboro, Wrentham, Mendon & Belliugham be impowered 
to command all Aid they may think necessary thro the province for 
gathering any Taxes according to the Laws of this Province on the 
Inhabitants of the said Gore; And that all persons be required to aid 
& assist the Sheriffs, Under Sheriffs & Constables respectively in doing 
their duty according to this Order in relation to the Inhabitants of s d 
Gore ; And in Case any Person or persons shall refuse or neglect to 
give their Aid & Assistance when required they shall incur & be liable 
to the same Penalties as when they refuse their Aid to apprehend 
Criminals. And that the said Sheriffs & Constables respectively be 
directed & required to pull down & deface all & every Paper or papers 
put or posted up in said Gore, Setting forth (or by Virtue of) any 
Authority of y e Colony of Rhode Island over the said Gore, And that 
the said Sheriffs & Under Sheriffs aforesaid be required to arrest all & 
every Person or Persons who shall presume to serve any Writt on any 

1 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 734. 



1905.] BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTE. 33 

Person in said Gore, or do any other Act by Virtue of the Authority 
of Rhode-Island Government & in Oposition to the Authority of 
this, & him or them shall carry before one of his Majesty's Justices 
of the Peace, who shall bind him or them over to answer for such 
Crime before the next Court proper to try the same ; And that the 
Collectors of the Towns of Attleboro, Wrentham, Mendon & Belli ng- 
ham be strictly enjoined to proceed forthwith in collecting the Rates 
respectively committed to them in which there may be any Sum or 
Sums due from any of the Inhabitants of said Gore. 1 [Passed 
November 2. 

Another memorial from Henry Jocelyn was presented to the 
General Court setting forth his " great Charges & Sufferings 
by reason of a Prosecution from the Government of Rhode 
Island for doing his duty to this Government in levying public 
Taxes, & praying that this Court would provide for his defence 
and Assistance in a Tryal depending in Rhode Island Govern- 
ment," and counsel was appointed to " use his best Endeavors 
in the Law for the defence of the petitioner," 2 and <£50 was 
subsequently granted to such counsel for his services. 3 

Compensation was likewise made to Joseph Newall for his 
sufferings in Providence gaol. 4 

And on February 12, 1734, in answer to the petition of John 
Robins and others committed on the Mittimus, presented on 
the 3d November previous, liberal compensation was granted, 
— nearly £300; if the fines were remitted by the Govern- 
ment of Rhode Island, such amount to be returned into the 
treasury ; the government of Rhode Island to be pressed to 
remit the penalties; and all persons enjoined to carry out the 
order of November 1, previously quoted. 5 

The General Court was not inclined to let Mr. Justice 
Jonathan Sprague go scot-free, but was determined to deal 
with him summarily and severely, as appears by the vote of 
February 22, 1734. 

CHAPTER 185. 

VOTE FOR APPREHENDING JON* SPRAGUE ESQ R &C. 

THIS COURT being informed that Jonathan Sprague of Smithfield 
in the County of Providence in the Colony of Rhoad Island Esq r for 
some years last past has been issuing Warrants & giving forth Orders 

1 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 755. 2 Ibid., p. 757. 

8 Ibid., p. 798. * Ibid., p. 786. 6 Ibid., p. 773. 



34 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

to be executed in the Township of Attleboro within the County of 
Bristol with respect to the Inhabitants of the said Town, their Estates, 
Kates & Taxes without any Authority for so doing, greatly disturbing 
His Majestys Peace in said Town & County stirring up sedition in 
some & greatly oppressing others of the Inhabitants of the said Town, 
& in great Contempt of the Authority of this Governm* over all t the 
Lauds & Inhabitants of the said Town of Attleboro: For the better 
safety & protection of the Inhabitants of any of the Towns of Attle- 
boro, Wrentham, Mendon & Bellingham ; 

VOTED that His Excellency the Governor be desired to issue out a 
Proclamation directed to & impowering all Persons whatsoever, but 
more especially to all Sheriffs, Under Sheriffs or Constables for ap- 
prehending the said Jonathan Sprague or any other Person or Persons 
who shall hereafter presume to issue out such Warrant or Warrants or 
issue forth such Orders or execute the same within any of the said 
Towns, & bringing him or them before any of His Majestys Justices of 
the Peace within the said Province in order to his being proceeded with 
as to Justice shall appertain ; And as an Encouragem* & Reward to 
the Person or Persons that shall apprehend & bring said Sprague or 
any other Person presuming to exercise Authority as afore said to 
Justice, That the sum of Fifty Pounds be allowed & paid to him or 
them out of the publick Treasury. 1 [Passed February 22. 

The story might be carried further, as this is only one 
incident in a long controversy, a skirmish in a war transmitted 
from sire to son through several generations. Enough, how- 
ever, — perhaps more than enough, for any reasonable tax on 
patience, — has been given. The matter may seem insignifi- 
cant, but it brings out in strong light the spirit of Massa- 
chusetts, — all this legislation and all this struggle over a 
little strip of its territory and over the rights of a few farmers. 

The senior Vice-President also communicated the memoir 
of the late Chief Justice Walbridge A. Field, which Mr. 
Noble had been appointed to prepare for the Proceedings. 

Mr. James F. Rhodes read a short paper on " Negro Suf- 
frage and Reconstruction," in continuation of remarks made 
at the December meeting. 

At our last meeting I was not ready enough to make a thor- 
ough reply to some of the criticisms which my paper suggested ; 
and this I will now briefly attempt. The harsh legislation of 
the Southern States in regard to the negroes was enacted be- 

1 Province Laws, vol. xi. p. 782. 



1905.] NEGRO SUFFRAGE AND RECONSTRUCTION. 35 

tween October, 1865, and March, 1866. I attempted to show 
in my fifth volume that this legislation was misconstrued at 
the North, and it was thought that the laws had been passed 
by the Southern States in a spirit of defiance. This was not 
so. Nevertheless this legislation had a profound influence 
upon the Northern people and on the Republicans in Congress. 
It was an incitement to them to quarrel with President John- 
son, and it undoubtedly made the Fourteenth Amendment 
plan of reconstruction more harsh than it otherwise would 
have been. The passage of the Civil Rights bill over the 
President's veto, and the enactment of the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment conferring civil rights on the negroes by organic act 
neutralized that legislation of the Johnson reconstructed 
States. After the Republicans gained their signal victory in 
1866, securing more than a tw r o-thirds majority in both houses 
of Congress, this harsh legislation of the Johnson Southern leg- 
islatures disappears, so far as my reading goes, as a potent in- 
fluence in the reconstruction legislation. The plain issue of 
the elections of 1866 was the Fourteenth Amendment plan, 
but this had never been satisfactory as a finality to the Radi- 
cals, and they maintained that the overwhelming victory of 
1866 was a pronouncement in favor of negro suffrage. The 
violence shown in many cases at the South to the negroes and 
to the Union white men, and the belief that the negroes must 
have the suffrage for their protection and for the protection of 
the loyal whites, was the potent argument for the two acts of 
March 2 and March 23, 1867. This is the decided impression 
I obtained from reading the debates and following the dif- 
ferent amendments and the whole procedure which finally 
resulted in these last disastrous acts. I cannot pretend to 
have read all the speeches, and it may be that Mr. Stanwood 
in going over different parts of the debates has arrived at a 
different conclusion. Nothing in the study of modern history 
is more advantageous than the opportunity of comparing notes 
such as a friendly discussion in our rooms enables us to do. 
"If the historian of earlier times," says Mr. Firth, our Corre- 
sponding Member, in his inaugural address as Regius Professor 
of Modern History at Oxford, — "if the historian of earlier 
times suffers from the paucity of his materials, the historian of 
modern times suffers from their superabundance. One life is 
too short to search through them. A mere catalogue of Par- 



i A OQ f "> ^ v * 



36 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

liamentary reports fills a whole volume, and who shall number 
the volumes of Hansard?" We have the same difficulty in 
our Congressional Globes. 

The sessions of January and February, 1867, which resulted 
in the Reconstruction Acts of March 2 and March 23, were 
stormy. Blaine and Bingham in the House worked hard to 
secure more moderate legislation, although Blaine was in 
favor of negro suffrage ; but could he have prevailed, the 
legislation would not have been so harsh as that which was 
enacted through the influence of Thaddeus Stevens. Nothing 
in our history reminds me so much of the proceedings of the 
Constituent Assembly during the first French Revolution as 
the proceedings in the House during these months. Few 
Republicans were proof against Stevens's taunts and sarcasm ; 
and when he pointed his skinny finger at a member and 
charged him with truckling to President Johnson, he was 
pretty sure to gain another radical vote. It is only by a close 
study of the different steps and the actual results that we can 
appreciate that the final victory was with Stevens and Sumner, 
for at least in one stage of the proceedings when the Repub- 
licans were divided, Stevens was with the minority. 

I fully agree with Mr. Bradford in regard to the clemency 
shown by the North to the South. There were no executions, 
and there were no confiscations of property and no imprison- 
ments except for brief periods. In these respects I know 
nothing like it in history, and I have asked historical scholars, 
as I ask them to-day, whether or not, after a so-called Rebellion 
in which the forces standing for the acknowledged government 
were complete victors, there was ever before so great clem- 
ency shown. Once in my reading I thought I had .found 
something resembling it in an act of Julius Cassar. Froude 
writes : " In Pompey's own tent [after the battle of Pharsalia] 
was found his secret correspondence implicating persons, per- 
haps whom Caesar had never suspected, revealing the mysteries 
of the past three years. Curiosity and even prudence might 
have tempted him to look into it. His only wish was that the 
past should be forgotten : he burnt the whole mass of papers 
unread." This seemed sublime, and I sought a confirmation 
of it. But Caesar, w r ho was himself given to a reasonable 
amount of self-glorification, does not relate it in his history 
of the civil war. It is neither in Plutarch nor in Appian, and 



1905.] NEGRO SUFFRAGE AND RECONSTRUCTION. 37 

I am at a loss to know what evidence Froude had for the 
statement. Mommsen, whom Froude largely followed, tells an 
exactly opposite story. He writes : " Caesar, who on the very 
day of the battle had reminded the soldiers that they should 
not forget the fellow-citizen in the foe, did not treat the cap- 
tives as Bibulus and Labienus had done ; nevertheless, he too 
found it necessary now to exercise some severity. The common 
soldiers were incorporated in the army, flues or confiscations of 
property were inflicted on the men of better rank ; the senators 
and equites of note who were taken, with few exceptions suffered 
death. The time for clemency was past ; the longer the civil 
war lasted, the more remorseless and implacable it became." 

I feel sure that in this respect the mercy of the North was 
unexampled. Carl Schurz, who has a good knowledge of the 
salient points of comparative history, said in the United States 
Senate April 19, 1870 : " There is not a single example of such 
magnanimity in the history of the world, and it may be truly 
said that in acting as it did this Republio was a century ahead 
of its time." I am convinced that we did better than Eng- 
land or Prussia would have done in the like case. But, on the 
other hand, I think that England or Prussia would have solved 
the negro problem better. Before conferring universal suf- 
frage on the negroes they would have studied the negro scien- 
tifically on the lines that Mr. Hall suggested last month. But 
in this age of Darwin and Huxley we made no attempt to con- 
sider the question scientifically. From a variety of motives, 
some praiseworthy and others the reverse, we forced negro 
suffrage upon the South. We had beaten the South in a fair 
fight, and nothing would have paid so well as to show her the 
same magnanimity in the negro question that we had shown 
in respect to executions and confiscations. Party advantage, 
the desire of worthless men at the North for offices at the 
South, co-operated with a misguided humanitarianism. After 
the victory came the plunder. The words which Parkman 
used in a somewhat different application will, however, apply 
well : " The lion had had his turn, and now the fox, the jackal, 
and the wolf took theirs." 

Mr. Charles C. Smith communicated for Mr. Worthing- 
ton C. Ford, of Washington, D. C, a Corresponding Member, 
the following paper : — 



38 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

TJie Case of Samuel Shrimpton. 

The few known references in contemporary records to the 
matter of some hot-headed utterances of Samuel Shrimpton, 
and the attention they brought down upon him on the part of 
the authorities, were too indefinite to warrant further study. 
The discovery of certain documents in the Chamberlain Col- 
lection, now in the Boston Public Library, rounds out the story, 
and throws some light upon the methods pursued by the agents 
of the government to preserve their dignity and maintain their 
authority. 

The origin of the incident lay in the administration by 
Shrimpton of his father's will. It will be recalled that the 
charter of Massachusetts was vacated in London in June, 1684, 
but a copy of the judgment of the forfeiture of the charter was 
not received at Boston until July 2, 1685, or more than a year 
after the event. In that interval Charles II. died (February 6, 
1685) and James II. mounted the throne. 

In April, 1685, a vessel reached Boston bringing intelligence 
of the death of Charles II. and the proclaiming of James II. 
king. No formal letter was received, because, the charter being 
vacated and no government yet appointed for Massachusetts, 
there was no responsible head. But the copies of proclama- 
tions and forms were sent as to the other colonies, without any 
mention of the Governor and the Company. A second letter, 
written to Bradstreet, Dudley, and others, told them to pro- 
claim the king, advising them that it were best to do it early. 
Among those to whom this letter was sent was Samuel Shrimp- 
ton, and it was in this connection that the name first appears 
in the printed Diary of Samuel Sewall (I. 70). The new king 
was accordingly proclaimed in Boston, April 20, 1685. 

In 1685 Peter Sergeant, and his wife, Elizabeth, raised a 
dispute with Shrimpton over the will, which was decided in 
favor of the latter. 1 In October, apparently soon after the 
judgment had been rendered, the Governor and Council 
amended the law on wills ; or, to use the quaint phrase of that 
time, " the law about Wills is made into a new Edition." In 
November Shrimpton was summoned to answer to Sergeant 
under the new law, to which summons he made the not un- 
reasonable reply that " the Court proceeded upon a Law made 

1 Ilccords of the Court of Assistants, I. 276. 



1905.] THE CASE OF SAMUEL SHRIMPTON. 39 

since the vacating of the charter, and therefore he should not 
attend." 1 This led Sewall to record, " so that this Monday we 
begin palpably to die," anticipating farther decay in the au- 
thority of the Council under the administrative indefiniteness 
that existed. 

The subsequent stages of the matter are shown in the follow- 
ing extracts from Se wall's Diary : — 

December 14, 1685. "County-Court meets about Mr. Sergeant's 
Business chiefly : Mr. Shrimpton's Letter is read : but 'tis not agreed 
on to proceed, and some Heat, the Vote being in a mafier equal. 
Mr. Stoughton and Maj! Richards not there. Mr. Shrimpton pleads 
that he has fullfilled his Father's Will dated July 17 c . h One Thousand 
six hundred sixty and six : and canot submit to this arbitrary way, 
especially as the Law [was] made since the Dissolution of the charter 
of this Place. Gov' seems somewhat resolute: the Court Adjourned 
till Thorsday." 2 

Thursday, December 17, 1685. " At County-Court nothing done in 
Mr. Sergeant's Business : so he makes a speech when the Court open, 
that if the Court did nothing they would give him a Record of it, that 
he might go elsewhere for he would not be kept out of's Money; 
speaking warmly. 

"Mr. Francis Stepney, the Dancing Master, desired a jury, so He 
and Mr. Shrimpton Bound in 50£ to Jan r Court. Said Stepney is 
ordered not to keep a Dancing School; if he does will be taken in con- 
tempt and be proceeded with accordingly. Mr. Shrimpton muttered, 
saying he took it as a great favour that the Court would take his Bond 
for £50." 3 

Stepney was to have his jury " to try his speaking Blasphe- 
mous Words ; and Reviling the Government." He was fined 
£100, of which <£10 were to be paid down, u the rest respited 
until the last of March, that so [he] might go away if he would. 
He appeals : Mr. Shrimpton and Luscombe his sureties." 4 
This entry shows that others than Shrimpton were critical on 
the methods of dispensing justice in the colony. 

In February, 1686, another change was made in the law re- 
lating to wills, and the extent of the change will be best shown 
by a parallel : — 

i Diary of Samuel Sewall, I. 104, 110. 2 Ibid., 11] 

3 Ibid., 112. * Jbid., 121 



40 



MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Jan. 



October, 1685 



As an actition to the law, title 
Wills, it is ordered by this Court 
and the authority thereof, that the 
magistrates of each County Court 
in this jurisdiction, being annually 
chosen by the freemen, shall haue 
full power & authority (as the 
ordinary in England) to sumonsany 
excccuto r or execcuto" appointed 
to the will of any deceased per- 
son, who haue declared his or their 
acceptance of that trust by offering 
the sajd will for probate, or other- 
wise requiring him, her, or them to 
give bond, with sufficient suretjes, 
for paying all debts and legacjes, 
or to make and exhibbit vnto the 
Court, vpon oath, a just and true 
inventory of all the kuoune lands, 
tennements, goods, & chattells of 
the deceased ; and in case such exec- 
cuto r or execcuto" shall neglect or 
refuse so to doe, sajd Court shall 
proceed against such person or 
persons by imposing a fine or fines 
vpon them, not exceeding tenn 
pounds p moneth for euery monthes 
default after the expiration of the 
time that shall be appointed by the 
sajd Court for bringin in an inven- 
tory; and vpon complaint of any 
creditor or legatory, they shall call 
any execcuto r or execcuto rs to ren- 
der an account of his or their 
administration. 



And it is further ordered, that the 
sajd Court shall haue full power to 
receive any information or corn- 



February, 1685-6 

Whereas, the majestrates or 
members of the respective County 
Courts haue allwayes had power 
to receive & record all probates of 
wills, & of granting administra- 
tions &c a , it is further ordered by 
this Court and the authority thereof, 
that each County Court within this 
jurisdiction shall haue full power 
& authority, From time to tjme, as 
they shall see cawse, to sumon any 
execcuto r or execcuto rs of any de- 
ceased persons last will & testa- 
ment, legally proved & on record, 
to appeare before the sajd Court, 
and to require him, her, or them 
to make & exhibbit into the regis- 
try of the Court a just & true 
inventory, vpon oath, of all the 
knoune lands, teniements, goods, 
and chattells of the deceased, or to 
give bond with sufficient suertjes 
for the paying of all debts and leg- 
aties of the deceased. And in case 
such execcuto r or execcuto" shall 
neglect or refuse so to do for the 
space of thirty dayes next after, or 
such further time that the sajd 
Court shall to them ljmitt & ap- 
point, the Court shall proceed 
aganst such persons, by imposing 
a fine or fines vpon them not ex- 
ceeding teun pounds p moneth 
for euery mon ths default after the ex- 
piration of sajd time so appointed, 
also vpon the complaint of any 
credito r or legatory to call any ex- 
eccuto r to render an accompt of his 
or their administration. 

And it is further ordered by this 
Court & authority thereof, that the 
County Courts respectively shall 



1905.] 



THE CASE OF SAMUEL SIIRIMPTON. 



41 



plaint from any legatee or credito 1 " haue full power to receive any in- 



againstanyexeccuto r forthedeteyn- 
ing any legacy or any legacy es given 
by the testato r or debt due from the 
sajd estate, and to grant suriion 5 
and process, as is vsuall in other 
cases, for the appearance of such 
execcuto r or execcuto rs , at dayes 
and place assigned by the sajd 
Court ; and vpon neglect or re- 
fusall to appeare accordingly, the 
Court shall proceed to the hearing 
of the complaint, and to make their 
decree and determination thereon, 
and to grant forth execution for 
the fullfilling thereof; likewise, to 
heare & determine all cases relat- 
ing to wills and administrations, 
and to make theire decrees and 
grant executions there vpon, al- 
lowing to the party agrieved lib- 
erty of appeale to the magistrates 
of the next Court of Assistants, 



formation or complaint from any 
legatory or credito' against the ex- 
eccuto r or execcuto rs to the will of 
any deceased person, for the de- 
teyning from him, her, or them 
any legaty or legatys givin by the 
testato r , or debt due from the estate 
of such testators, and to grant 
forth suiiions or process ; together 
with a copy of sajd complaint or 
information annexed, for the ap- 
pearance of such execcuto r or ex- 
eccuto rs before sajd Court, the 
sajd warrant, with the libell an- 
nexed, to be served fowerteen 
dayes inclusively before the day 
appointed for appearance ; and it 
shall be in the power of the Court 
to order the time of hearing at 
their first sessions, or at any ad- 
journment of sajd Court as to 
them shall seeme meet. And vpon 



such partjes attending the law as neglect or refusal of such person 

in other cases respecting appeales ; or persons to appeare accordingly, 

alwayes provided, that where mat- the Court shall proceed to the hear- 

ter of is controverted, then either ing of the case, and make their 

plaintiff or defendant may haue a judgment or decree therein, & 

tryal thereof by a jury, if it be grant forth executions for the ful- 

desired, w th liberty of appeale to filling thereof; likewise to heare 



the next Court of Assistants, as 
the law directs, any law vsage, or 
custome to the contrary notwith- 



standing. 1 



& determine all cases relateing 
vnto wills and administrations, 
and to grant forth executions vpon 
their judgment given therein. 

Allwayes provided, that when 

matter of fact is controverted, then 

either plaint or defendand desiring 

the same before issue be joyned, 

may haue a try all thereof by a jury to be forthwith sumoned by warrant 

from sajd Court ; if there be no jury then empannelled, the sajd party 

or partjes making theire whole plea or allegation as to all matters of 

fact at their first hearing and answer, that justice may not be delayed, 

allowing liberty for any party agreeved at the judgment and determi- 

1 Records of Massachusetts-Bay, v. 503. 
6 



42 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

nation of the Court, or virdict of the jury, to appeale to the next Court 
of Assistants, giviug in their reasons of appeale as the law directs in 
either cases ; and euery person, before his complaint be received or ad- 
mitted, shall give caution vuto the Court to the vallue of tenn pounds in 
money to respond all such charges & fees as the Court shall award, any 
law, vsage, or custome to the contrary notwithstanding, provided, that 
law shall not be vnderstood to debarr any person or persons from pro- 
ceeding in the former & vsuall course of law for the recouery of any 
debt or legacy due from the estate of the deceased person expressly 
determined by will. 1 

The ink was hardly dry before Sergeant hastened to begin 
proceedings : — 

" Thorsday, Feb. 25. The Law about Wills and Administrations is 
published ; and almost as soon as the Drumm had done beating, Mr. 
Serf comes with his Petition : and an order is made for a Hearing next 
Monday; 3 weeks, the 22 d of March: some would have had it sooner, 
and Mr. Nowel and Self thought it very indecent that it was so soon, 
especially considering, the Order made upon a Law scarce yet out of 
the Marshal's Mouth." 2 

This produced the catastrophe : — 

Tuesday, March 23. " Hear of the sad consequences of yesterday's 
County-Court, Mr. Shrimpton's saying there was no Governour and 
Company. Heat between the Members of the Court. I can't yet un- 
derstand that Mr. Noweli, Cook, or Hutchinson were there. Some are 
much offended that Mr. Shrimpton was not sent to Prison." 3 

The story may now be told by the documents in the case 
found in the Chamberlain collection : — 

ORDER OF THE COURT. 

The Honourable Gov! & Mag! lately assembled in y e Count Court 
at Boston, Do iuforme the Councill now assembled that M r Samuel 
Shrimpton being sumoned to attend s d Court in a Civill case, in a 
Proud & Contemptuous manner declared hims : y c there was no Gov! 
& Company, of w ch the Gov! had [illegible] & therefore he would make 
no answ! to y e suilions given him for his appearance & added there- 
unto sevrall revileing words ag l y r Gov 1 : 4 

1 Records of Massachusetts-Bay, v. 508. 

2 Diary of Samuel Sewall, I. 123. s /^., 128. 
4 This first part is in the writing of Thomas Danforth. 



1905.] THE CASE OF SAMUEL SHRIMPTON. 43 

Boston, 26 March 1G86, upon w ch The Court ordered y e marshall to 
goe & tell M r Shrimpton That the Court would speak w th him. W ch he 
did & Returnd he was home to Nodles Island & sayd he had left Infor- 
mation & that they would send to him & y e Court Adjournd till 5 th day 
next l 8t Aprill 86 & ordered y e Secretary to lett M r Shrimpton know 
y* at y f time he should attend y e Court presently after y r leisure. E R S. x 

Endorsed: Complaint ag' M r Saniuell Shrimpton: to y e Council, 26 of March 
1686. 2 

SHRIMPTON'S STATEMENT. 

I did say, There is no Governour and Company of this Place in be- 
ing, That the Governf had A Signification of the Dissolution of the 
Charter of this Colony and that I was not willing to Submit to Laws 
made since that day. And what I said to the Govern^ as to wrong 
done, I then Explained to be only in Reference to an Arbitration 
wherein his Hono" was one, and without any Reflection with respect to 
any Judiciall Act : And if any heat then expressed it was occasioned 
by my being call'd after two or Three Thieves, and as I apprehended at 
Mf Sergeant's Choice, The Govern 1 : asking him If he would Then have 
his Cause Called Saying there was but a thin Court, notwithstanding the 
Five Senio r Magistrates of the County were present. The perticulars 
above, I yet aver to be True and if put upon it shall Endeavour to prove. 
And I am you r Honors Humble Servant 

Sam l : Shrimpton. 

Boston, April 1° 1686. 3 

INDICTMENT OF THE GRAND JURY. 

Wee the Grand Jury for our soveraign Lord the King for the Massa- 
chusetts Colony present & Indicte M r Samuel Shrimpton of Boston 
merchant for that he at the County Court sitting in Boston on the 22 th 
of March last, in a Contemptuous violent & seditious manner & with a 
loud voyce did in open Court say that he was brought there by M r 
serjants order & not by the Courts & that he denyed any such thing in 
being as Govern 1 & Company of the Colony and that he stood there to 
justify it & denyed their power and they might send him to prison if 
they pleased, which words in the same manner he repeated over & 
over againe with divers other seditious words & expressions as by 
the evidences will & may Appeare, thereby defaming the Generall Court 

1 Edward Rawson, Secretary. 2 Cham. E. 13. 67. 

s Ibid., 57. The paper is printed in part in the Records of the Court of 
Assistants, I. 297. Those Records also give (298) an account of the appearance 
of Shrimpton before the Court on April 15, and his demand to be tried by a 
jury. 



44 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

& said County Court and Caused such a tumult in the Court as evi- 
dently tended to the high breach of his maj ties peace & great scandall & 
reproach of his maj tics Government here & all this Contrary to the peace 
of our Soveraign Lord the King his Crowne & Dignity & the laws of 
God & of this Jurisdiction & particularly [the law title Courts Sect 6 :] 
Wee fiude this bill & leave it to further Tryall. 

Penn Townsend Foreman 
in the names of the rest of the jury. 
22. 2 : 8G This Indictment was received in upper court the 17 th of 
Aprill 168G = Edw d . Rawson Secry 1 

DRAFT OF WARRANTO 

To Jn° Green marshall Generall or his lawfull Deputy. 

In his Maj'yes name you are by vertue of an orde r of the Court of 
Assistants required to Attach the Person of M* Samuell Shrimpton of 
Boston merchant & Require him to Give you his Bond w th suretyes 
in a thousand pounds for his personall appearance before the Court of 
Assistants to sitt in Boston on the 22 th Instant at two of the clock in 
the afternoon on their adjournal* to Ans r what is layd to his charge by 
the Virdict of the Grand Jury given in on the day of the date hereof 
against him & in Case of his Refusall to give bond you are In like 
manner Required to Comitt him to y e prison in Boston till the Courts 
Adjournm 1 Make your Returne and fayle at you r perill Dated in 
Boston 17 th of April 16[86] By y e Court 

Edward Rawson, Secret. 3 

WARRANT AS ISSUED. 

To Jn° Greene Marshall Generall or his lawfull Deputy. 

In his Maj ties name you are required to app re hend the body of M r 
Samuel Shrimpton of Boston merchant & require of him bond with 
suretyes in one thousand pounds ste r,g for his personall appearance at 
the Court of Assistants to be held by Adjournment at Boston the 22 th 
Instant at two of the clocke in the afternoone to make his answer to the 
p'seutm 1 of the Grand Jury by them given in against him at the Court 
of Assistants held at Boston the day of the date hereof for his 
seditious Carriage w th a high hand in open County Court in Boston 
22 th march last & Contempt of his Maj tyes authority as is most particu- 

1 Cham. E. 13. 61. It is printed in the Records of the Court of Assistants, I. 
299. 

2 This warrant was issued as Shrimpton had not appeared before the Court, as 
ordered. 

3 Cham. E. 13. 63. Probably the first form of the next paper or actual war- 
rant issued. 






1905.] THE CASE OF SAMUEL SHRIMPTON. 45 

larly expressed in said Indictment, and on his faleur to give bond as is 
above required you are to Conritt him to safe keeping in the prison 
in Boston hereof you are to make a true returne under y r hand & faile 
not at you r perrill. Dated in Boston 17 Aprill 1686. 

By y e speciall orde r of the Court of Assistants 

Edward Raws on Secrtty. 

ENDORSEMENT. 

22 April 1686 
I have apprehended the body of M r Samuel Shrimpton of Boston 
merchant by vertue of the within warrant by order of the Court of 
Assistants under the hand of M r . Edward Rawson Secretary bearing date 
the 17 of Aprill 1686. and did then require bond of him the said M r 
Samuel Shrimpton in the sum of one thousand pounds sterling according 
to the within warrant he refuseing to give bond according to y e said 
warrant I have comitted him to y e safe keeping of the prisonkeeper in 
Boston by vertue of the within warrant. 

John Green MarsM General!. 1 

SHRIMPTON TO THE SECRETARY. 

April 17° 1686 
M* Secretary. 

S?, — I am Informed that the Govern 1 " & Magistrates are in Ex- 
pectation of my appearance at the Barr this Morning, but lean not tell 
in what form of Law. I was neither Committed to Prison, nor bound 
over, nor so much as Injoin'd to Appeare, nor ever gave my word for 
Appearance, nor have I received any Copy of my Charge to prepare 
Answer, and therefore am of Opinion that my Attending the Court at 
this time can not Issue the matter charg'd upon me. I hope I may 
expect the Favour & Just procedure of Law against me, as the Law 
provides for every English man. I am 

Sr IV Serv" 

Samuel Shrimpton. 
Endorsed " Read in Court 17 Aprill 1686 2 

SHRIMPTON'S STATEMENT. 

To the Honoured Court of Assistants now sitting in Boston Sa'muel 
Shrimpton humbly Sheweth. 
That as to what Lately happened from me in the County Court I do 
acknowledge that notwithstanding the provocation that I then thought 
was given me The Passion that was moved in me, & the mafier of my 
Expression & mauagem' thereupon was very Intemperate, uujustify- 

i Cham. E. 13. 62. 2 Ibid., 64. 



46 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

able and Evil ; and so much I would willingly have acknowledged upon 
the recollecting my selfe, had the Court at that time given the Opper- 
tunity as I wish they had; It is well known I have never been an 
Euimy to the Governing here Established; nor desirous of its over- 
turning but have been Obedient to it and served the Publick willingly 
& Chearfully at all times according to my Capacity; and wish I 
might have Oppertunity so to doe still for many a Day: so that I do 
truly affirme, that it was not at all in my Intention and I am Confident 
also not in my Words to deny the being of Government or of Courts 
for the Exercise there of in the common & ordinary way of Justice and 
usuall proceedings amongst us : all that I denied was with reference to 
that new Law & method of proceedings established since Judgment 
given against the Charter according to which I was then prosecuted, 
This formerly and at that time was my Plea in Law & Legall Defence 
in the case, from which I do not nor can not depart, hoping that such 
an Opinion in point of Law & the pleading there of will not in any of 
his ma ties courts be Judged to make me so high a Criminall, and if this 
that I now say may be so far accepted by this hono ble Court as to pass 
by my Errours of Passion I shall greatly Rejoyce, however I am sorry 
I have been the Occasion of so much trouble to the court & was not 
then so fully sensible of the 111 consequence, not Intending the weak- 
ning the hands of Authority by any Reflections. 

I am 

Yo r hono rs humble Servant 

Sam l Shrimpton. 
[22 April, 1686'] * 

SHRIMPTON'S PLEA. 

Samuel Shrimpton being to appeare at the Court of Assistants sitting 
in Boston by adjournment April the 22 d 1686 to answer to an Indict- 
ment or presentment found against him by a Grand Jury whereof Pen 
Townsend was Foreman, Pleads not Gilty of any Crime the punish- 
ment whereof is Loss of Life, Member or Banishmeut, or belongs to the 
Court of Assistants to heare and Determine. In the Indictment or pre- 
sentment there is to be considdered. 

1° The matter of Fact, The Words Spoken, : 2 d The Place Where. 
3 d The time when. 4! h The maner how the words were spoken, 
In a contemptuous, violent & seditious mafier, & with a Loud Voice. 
5° The Effect they wrought, Defaming the Generall Court & County 
Court and caused such a Tumult in the Court as Evidently tended to 
the High breach of his Ma tl f s Peace and Great Scandall of his Ma t! ? s 
Government here. 6 lh The Conclusion, Contrary to the peace of our 
sovereign Lord the King his Crown and Dignity, and the Laws of God 

1 Cham. E. 13. 60. 



1905.] THE CASE OF SAMUEL SHRIMPTON. 47 

and of this Jurisdiction, and particularly the Law Title Courts Section 
the Sixth. 

1° The Words said to be Spoken, That I was brought there by M r 
Sergeant's order and not by the Courts, If they were Spoken were oc- 
casioned by the Governo rs speaking to M r Sergeant once and againe, 
asking him whether he would have his Case called or no, alledging it 
was but a Thin Court. So that in my apprehention it was wholly & 
absolutely at M r Sergeant's [illegible] whether I should be called at that 
Court or not, allthough the Court was Adjourned purposely for my 
tryall, which I counted a Favour to M r Sergeant & Disfavour to me 
more then either of us deserved and more than I Expected. 

2 C ! The Place where the words were spoken, namely at the County 
Court sitting in Boston. 

3 C ! The Time When, was the 22 d of March last, by the Indictment 
no man can tell when that was, because the Indictment is without Date. 
I humbly concieve it is void & null by Reason of the want of a Date, 
The Time, the Day, & Year when the offence was Committed, as 
well as The Place Town & County where it was done, is Essential to 
the very being of an Indictment, The Laws and Customs of England 
evince it, and agreeable therewith is the Law of this Jurisdiction, 
Title Indictments, The Indictment must be made & Exhibited within 
one Year after the Offence Committed or the Indictment is void and of 
none Effect, who can tell by this Indictment when the Fact was Com- 
mitted ? or when the Indictment was made or Exhibited? But if it 
be alledged That the Date to the Indictment may be added or the Time 
when the Fact was done otherwise manifested ; I answer I am of 
Opinion (1°) That the Date can not be Supplied. The Jury is Dissolved 
and hath no being and therefore can not Act ; That which hath no 
Essence, Can not have Action. 

The Court can not add the Date because it is Post Factum after the 
Inquest, and Return of the Bill, and if there be either Addition or Dim- 
inution or any Alteration, it is not the Same Bill which the Inquest 
found, but anoth r which was never before their'Consideration. (2 d ) I 
conceive that the Time when the Fact was Committed and the Indict- 
ment Exhibited can not be proved by the Witnesses because it is not 
contained in the Bill ; Let what will be contained in the Evidences, 
Yet the jury have found no more than is Contained in the Bill, and 
no more nor no less am I to Plead unto : For altho the Jury have 
found I spake such words, They have not found when, & so indeed have 
not found any thing, and therefore I humbly think the Bill is void & of 
none Effect. I pray yo r hono r . s to considder it. 

An Attachment for but Fourty Shillings if it hath no Date will be 
voide and no Tryall or Judgment can pass thereupon, Then surely by 
the like Reason, an Indictment without date it being of a farr higher 



48 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

nature whereby Life, Limb, or Liberty is hazarded upon the tryall 
ought to be void. The higher the fact the more exactly Legall in all 
Respects ought the proceedings to be. 

4° For the maner of Speaking the words, I confess that what words 
I spake was uttered with too Loud a voice, & in too violent, A maner, 
for which I am hartily Sorry and humbly Crave yo r pardon. I was 
provoked and moved into Passion by the Sence of that Indignity & 
Ignominy that was put upon me by being called amongst Theives & 
hogues, at the. pleasure of my Adversary: and if they were Contempt- 
uous, yet [rotted away] breach of any Law the Penalty whereof is Loss 
of Life Member or Banishment, nor do I know why the Word Seditious 
is put into the Bill, except because one of the Wittnesses whose vener- 
able esteem [of his ?] own parts and knowledge moved him out of his 
own low Sphaere of Wittness into the high one of a Judge, whose Zeale, 
Pride or Envy carried him above the Worke of a Wittness of Giving 
his Evidence in the matter of Fact which he was Called unto, Into the 
place of a Judge in giving a name to the Fact which he never was 
call'd unto, which Insolence deserves Reproof, rather than his Integrity 
merrits Applause. 

5° Concerning the Effect which the Words wrought, They did not 
Defame the Generall Court nor County Court, They had no relation 
unto them but unto the Govern 1 " & Company ; I suppose there is a 
Distinction between the Govern' & Company, & the Generall Court & 
the County Court, The Gov r & Company I think consists of the 
Govern r & all the Freemen ; The Generall Court consists of the 
Govern 1 * or Deputy Govern 1 Assistants & Freemen's Deputyes or 
Representatives: The County Court consist of any Three Magistrates, 
I never defamed the Generall Court, nor any other Court, I spake not 
of Courts but of the Govern 1 & Company whose being I denied, and 
not of Courts, whose Existence might be continued by his Ma ties Gratious 
Proclamation, notwithstanding the Charters Condemnation. 

6° As for the Conclusion I deny it, Those words were not contrary 
to the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the King his Crown and Dignity, 
Nor Contrary to the Laws of God, or this Jurisdiction, nor no breach of 
the Law, Title Courts Section the Sixth, The Peace of the King was not 
violated for as much as at first Comand of the Govern r , the Court was 
cleared & the Peace preserved : The Kings Crown & Dignity no 
wayes opposed or detracted from, Nothing of the Kings Goverm! here, 
deuied : but only the manner of the Existence of it in the Govern 1 " & 
Company of the Massachusetts, By virtue of the Charter which is 
vacated ; which in good Consequence is an Asserting of the power of 
Governm! here to exist in the King, and by virtue of the Kings Procla- 
mation in those persons in Authority ; Therefore not against the Kings 
Crown & Dignity. 



1905.] THE CASE OF SAMUEL SHRIMPTON. 49 

Neither against the Law of God nor the Laws of this Jurisdiction 
know no Law I have broken, But in Spetiall maner the Law title 
Courts Section Sixth, not broken. I have not Defamed any Court of 
Justice, I spake not a word of Courts or their Sentences, The Govern 1 
& Company never was a Court. I hope by what is premised it will 
appear 1° That the Indictment found against me is void & of none 
Effect, having no Date, and therefore ought by Law to be Quash'd. 2? 
that I am not gilty of the breach of any Law the penalty whereof is 
Loss of Life, Member or Banishment, nor of any crime Cognis [illegible] 
at the Court of Assistants, nor gilty of the breach of the Law Title 
Courts Section Sixth, not having defamed any Court, nor having spoke 
any thing concerning any Court or their Judgments or Sentences 
[illegible] of the Being of the Govern r & Company which I did deny, 
it being my Opinion, and if that be a Crime it is not Defamation of any 
Court, but the most is Contempt, which lieth not at this Court. 

Neither have I been an Enemy to this Jurisdiction, but have been 
allwayes Willing & Ready with my person & Estate to suport the same, 
in the same way it was settled by the Patent, and should be Glad if it 
was the Kings Pleasure to Reestablish it upon its old Foundation & 
Basis, being not Desirous of Innovation but of Reformation. 

Samuel Shrimpton. 

Endorsed : M r . Shrimptons Plea put in & was read in open C' of Assist 55 22 th of 
Aprill 1686 

SHRIMPTON'S OBJECTIONS. 
I can not nor ought to plead to this Indictment for Severall 
Reasons. 

1° It is not made in due form of Law, For it doth not mention the 
County where the offence was committed. The word New England is a 
Generall word, it may be done in the County of Essex or Norfolk or 
any other County & tho afterwards tis s d the Grand Jury for the 
Massachusetts Colony, do Indict & c yet names not the County where 
the offence was done, nor for what County they serve, nor where they 
did meet or where the Indictm* was taken, Now the Law is positive. 
That the County as well as y e Town must be Express'd. v. Ship : 
Country Jus! p. 133. & Pract: Regis tr p. 136. 

2? The Indictm* is not Dated, neither the year of o r Lord nor the 
Year of the King mentioned, nor the month nor Day, & so is uncertain 
nor doth appear when it was done, therefore Defective in an Essentiall 
part, The Law is Positive That this ought to be expressed, neither can 
it afterwards be supplied, by averment or Implication. Pract. Regis tr 
p. 122. & 136. Ship : Country Jus : 115 : 126 p : 138. Duty G : Jurys 
p: 139. & 140. 

31 In the Indictm* there is words Inserted, that are not in the Law 
or Statute w ch it is founded upon, The Indictm! saith [In the Law 

7 



50 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Title Courts sect 6 th ] w ch Law speaks about Defaming, but not a word 
of Contempt, violence or Sedition. Now the Law is plain, That an 
Indictm' framed upon a Statute ought only to pserve the words of y e 
Statute. Pract: Regist! p: 121. 137. 

4. The Indictm* referrs to the Evidences without naming what, or 
whose evidences, & so in effect referrs to nothing, The witnesses 
Names & Dates of their evidences ought to have been Incerted in y e 
Indictm*. 

5° By the Laws & Customs of England all the Jurors as well as the 
Foreman, should subscribe their names, or else the Indictm 1 is defective 
w cl ! in this case was not Done. 

So that upon the whole I say, The County & Time being wholly 
uncertain, & words being Introduced besides & not psuant to the words of 
the Law or Statute on w ch the Indictm* is founded & the referring to 
evidences without naming y e witnesses & the Dates of their Testimonies 
to w ch it referrs, & finally not Duely signed by all of them (The Least 
of w ch objections is abundantly sufficient to Quash the Indictm*) I can 
not see any Ground or Reason for me to plead or make answ r to y e 
Indictm' 

Samuel Shrimpton. 

Endorsed : Mr. Shrimpton's Objections sent in by y e Marshall Gen 11 22 Aprill 

(3G).i 

With this paper end the records relating to this colonial 
incident. 1 think the case of Shrimpton is interesting as an 
exhibition of the exercise of arbitrary power. Although the 
following paper has no relation to this case, I add it as one of 
the ^ew letters of Shrimpton to be found. 

Boston, March 2^ , 1685/6 

An Answer to Hudson Leverett Attorney to Richard Pateshall 
plan* his Reasons of Appeale, From the Judgment of the County 
Court, for Suffolk 27° Octob* last, To the Hono ole Court of Assistants 
now Sitting : Exhibited by Samuel Shrimpton in behalf of Stephen 
Haskott Defend* s d Shrimpton being Security for the s d Haskott. viz* 

1° The Bill which Haskett gave to Pateshall wa3 Conditionall, 
with proviso, that Israel Thorne should not be forced, or taken away 
by force of Law. Now to say, That an Impress by ovd 1 . of the 
General Court or of the Governo r & Councill, is not, or hath not the 
force of Law, is at once to Strike at both the Law & also the power & 
authority of the General Court, (the highest in this Jurisdiction) The 
111 Consequences where of would be needless" to Enumerate. 

2 d That the s d Israel Thorne was Impressed by Order from Au- 
thority & did go & Serve in the Indian Warrs, whereby the said 

i Cham. E. 13. 65. 



1905.] JOHN FOSTER, ENGRAVER. 51 

Haskett was wholly Frustrated of his Work & Service, (The only 
occasion & Reason of his Bill to Pateshall) and that he did not againe 
returne, & enter into the Service of the s d Haskott as is Falatiously 
pretended, was by the papers then given in, made plain & evident to 
the County Court & Jury, and undoubtedly will so appeare (when duely 
Considered) unto this Hono ble Court & Gent of the Jury notwithstand- 
ing the vain & false Fleas & Suggestions to the Contrary expressed in 
the Appellants Irrationall and Impertinent Paraphrase upon the Pro- 
viso-Clause, in the Bill will be no Just Ground or Occasion to Reverse 
the former Judgment, But that the Bill it selfe will be found void & 
null, The Condition therein Express'd not being performed, and Con- 
sequently that the former Judgment will be Confirmed w* h Costs & c c 
All which is humbly offered in behalf of the Defend' by 
Yo r Hono rs Humb e Serv" 

Samuel Shrimpton. 1 

The senior Vice-President read the following paper : — 

John Foster, the Earliest Engraver in New England. 

An interesting collection of early American engravings is 
now on exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Copley 
Square. It is the first attempt anywhere to make a general 
display of such prints, though from time to time there have 
been exhibitions of a similar character, but restricted to par- 
ticular persons or subjects. As the town of Boston was the 
cradle of the art in this country, it is highly proper that the 
first exhibition of the kind should be held in the place of its 
infancy. The period of time covered by the various speci- 
mens runs from about the year 1670 to 1812 ; and the skill 
of 150 artists is represented by 665 engravings of all kinds, 
including wood, copper, type-metal, and even die-cutting. 
Nearly a year has been spent by Mr. Emil H. Richter in 
making the collection, and to him is due largely the success 
of the undertaking. The display is of more interest histori- 
cally than from an artistic point of view, as it shows the devel- 
opment of the art from a crude beginning. In the early 
days of the Colony there was but little time to cultivate the 
fine arts, and but small means to encourage the taste. 

The earliest specimen in the collection is a portrait of the 
Reverend Richard Mather, of Dorchester, the ancestor of a 
long line of noted ministers, which was rudely cut by John 

i Cham. Ch. E. 13. 59. 



52 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Foster, at that time a recent graduate of Harvard College, who 
later became the first printer of Boston. To him also is 
attributed with a good deal of probability a Map of New 
England, which is full of interest as being the first one ever 
engraved in this country ; and an impression of this map, too, 
is among the objects shown. The title says that it is " the 
first that ever was here cut " ; and adds that " The Figures 
that are joyned with the Names of Places are to distinguish 
such as have been assaulted by the Indians from others," — 
a bit of pathetic description which brings clearly to mind 
the close connection of the life of that period with savage 
warfare. 

John Foster was a native of Dorchester, — that part of the 
town which became South Boston more than a century ago, — 
and a graduate of Harvard College in the Class of 1667. He 
was born in 1648, and baptized on December 10 of that year. 
It is known that he was the first printer in Boston, where 
he set up a press in the early part of 1675, though only two of 
his titles dated that year have come down to the present time. 
It is known also that he was an early engraver, but it has been 
supposed that he was primarily a printer, and that later he 
drifted into the art of engraving as akin to his chosen trade. 
In very recent times light has been thrown on this subject, 
and there is good reason now to believe that he took up print- 
ing as an after-thought, having first had some experience as an 
engraver. The earlier occupation crops out in a letter dated 
at Roxbury, September 4, 1671, which was written by John 
Eliot, the Apostle, to the Commissioners of the United Col- 
onies, then sitting in Boston, wherein he says : — 

Further I doe p r sent you wm o r Indians A. B. C. & o r 
Indian Dialog 5 w'h a request y* you would pay Printers 
work an ingenuous young scholar (S r Foster) did cut, in 
wood, the Scheame, for w c h work I request y l you would 
04 : 00 : 00 pay him. I think him worthy of 3 or 4 or 5 H but I leave 
it to your wisdoms. (Page 46.) 

The letter is given in full on pages 43-47 of " Some Cor- 
respondence between the Governors and Treasurers of the 
New England Company in London, and the Commissioners of 
the United Colonies in America, the Missionaries of the Com- 
pany, and others between the years 1657 and 1712, to which 



1905.] JOHN FOSTER, ENGRAVER. 53 

are added the Journals of the Rev. Experience Mayhew in 
1713 and 1714" (London, 1896, privately printed). In his 
" Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University," 
Mr. Sibley says: "Frequently, if not generally, graduates 
continued their studies at the College after they had taken 
their first degrees, being called Sirs till they took their 
second degrees as Masters of Arts." (I. 17, note.) This state- 
ment explains the title given by Eliot to Foster, though 
according to the Quinquennial Catalogue of the College, he 
never took his second degree. 

At the date of Eliot's letter Foster had been out of college 
four years, and already had some little experience as an en- 
graver, certainly enough to be employed to " cut, in wood, the 
Scheame." The expression is somewhat blind, and I do not 
understand fully the meaning, but evidently it refers to some 
kind of engraver's work. Perhaps it was a small broadside or 
poster, with the letters of the alphabet cut in large blocks, so 
that little children could easily learn the various characters. 
The " Indian Dialog 5 ," mentioned in the same sentence, was 
printed at Cambridge in the year 1671, probably by Marma- 
duke Johnson. There is nothing in this book, apparently, 
with which Foster's " Scheame " could be connected, so that 
the expression evidently applied to the " A. B. C." book or 
broadside. 

Ac this time Foster was living at Dorchester, where he was 
engaged in teaching a grammar school. Presumably as a 
young man he had a natural gift of drawing or sketching, 
and a knack of cutting wood which stood him in good stead 
when earning his livelihood after graduation from college. 
Undoubtedly he was a self-taught artist; and, while teaching 
was his vocation, he took up engraving as an avocation which 
in no way interfered with his regular duties. He engraved the 
portrait of Richard Mather, probably about the time of 
Mather's death, which was on April 22, 1669. The pamphlet 
entitled " The Life and Death of that Reverend Man of God, 
Mr. Richard Mather" (Cambridge, 1670), was printed the 
next year ; and one copy at least is known to have had 
as a frontispiece this cut, which was duly signed " Johannes 
Foster sculpsit." 

In James Blake's " Annals of the Town of Dorchester" 
(Boston, 1846), under the year 1681, it is recorded : — 



54 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

This year Died Mr. John Foster, son of Capt. Hopestill Foster; 
School-master of Dorchester, and he that made the then Seal or Arms 
of y e Colony, namely an Indian with a Bow & Arrow &c. (Page 29.) 

It is known that the origin of the Colonial seal dates back 
to the earliest clays of the Charter, so that this allusion is to 
the engraver and not to the designer. The annalist referred 
to wood-cut impressions of the " Seal or Arms of y e Colony," 
that had appeared in several books of that period, notably in 
" The General Laws and Liberties of the Massachusets Col- 
ony " (Cambridge, 1672), and in various supplements to the 
Laws. There are two distinct engravings of this seal, one of 
which appears in Increase Mather's u Brief History of the 
Warr with the Indians in New England " (page 15), printed 
by Foster. The cut undoubtedly was used in order to give an 
official appearance or character to the various papers and doc- 
uments printed for the Colonial authorities ; and in Mather's 
Brief History it appeared in connection with a proclamation 
issued by the Governor and Council. 

Next in order of time comes Foster's Map of New England, 
which passed through two editions during the early part of 
1677, and appeared in the Reverend William Hubbard's " Nar- 
rative of the Troubles with the Indians" (Boston, 1677). 
The first edition of the Map contained so many mistakes that 
a second block, a trifle larger than the first one, was cut, in 
which most of the inaccuracies are corrected. The two edi- 
tions bore exactly the same title, together with a few lines of 
type mortised in the wood, stating that it was " the first that 
ever was here cut," etc. 

I have already said that presumably John Foster had a 
natural gift of drawing or sketching ; and this presumption is 
borne out by an extract from a letter dated at Boston, June 22, 
1680, and printed in the Collections (fifth series, VIII. 421) of 
the Massachusetts Historical Society. It was written by Wait 
Winthrop to his brother John, at New London, Connecticut ; 
and the extract reads as follows : " I haue sent you a map 
of the towne, with Charlestowne, taken by M r Foster the 
printer, from Nodles Island. Twas sent for Amsterdam, and 
y r printed." It was probably a View of the two towns, — 
and not what is now understood as a map, — as seen from 
Noddles Island or East Boston, and sent to Holland in order 



1905.] JOHN FOSTER, ENGRAVER. 55 

to be engraved by a skilled artist. It is not known that a 
specimen of this interesting cut is now extant, though a copy- 
would excite the deepest interest among collectors. In a let- 
ter, dated at Boston, July 15, 1686, Chief- Justice Samuel 
Sewall writes to Edward Hull, of London, that '* There is en- 
closed in the top [of a box] a Mapp of this Town which 
please to accept off" (Letter-Book, I. 32). This reference 
seems to show that the engraving had been made, and that 
prints were received in Boston. 

After Foster gave up teaching at Dorchester in the early 
part of 1675, he opened a printing office in Boston. His place 
of business stood " over against the Sign of the Dove," on the 
south side of Boylston Street, somewhere between Washing- 
ton and Tremont Streets, as those great thoroughfares are 
known to-day. He was not bred a printer, and probably 
knew but little of the art excepting what a clever young 
man would pick up by observation on seeing the work done 
at Cambridge. The product of his press in good taste and 
workmanship was nowise inferior to what came from the 
other printing office. " In 1678 he appears to have procured 
a new font of long primer ; after which his handsomest work 
was done. The ink and paper have stood the test of time 
much better than those of a century later," says Mr. Sibley, 
in his Harvard Graduates (II. 223). 

Mr. Foster died of consumption, after a long illness, at the 
age of thirty-two years. His death took place on September 
9, 1681 ; and he was interred in the Burying-ground at Dor- 
chester, where there is " a pair of handsome Gravestones " 
(ordered in his will) erected to his memory. They consist of 
two slate slabs, one a head-stone and the other a foot-stone, 
of which the former is very elaborately chiselled, containing 
several allegorical figures all in relief. 

Some months before his death Increase Mather apostrophizes 
Foster in a Latin couplet, and Foster is supposed to reply in 
another couplet, also in Latin ; and these lines appear on the 
head-stone under the usual inscription. The allusion to his 
study of the stars, in the first line, is to his astronomical inves- 
tigations, as he was the author of six almanacs. - 



56 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 



IJVGEIV/OCrS 

Mathematicians printer 
M* JOHN FOSTER, 

AG£D 33yLARS DYLD S£PT?5> 
I 6 81 

a-, r 

Apri L, I 6 8 It 

* A ™ ScAhDE,PRECOR;C0?LUM^TIRI DISC£ SUPRLMUM* 

^ r * Necemior qjjicqi_/am,nisi GRATES, SOLVERE,-* 



[I. M Living thou studiest the stars; dying mayst thou, 

Foster, I pray, mount above the skies, and learn to 

measure the highest heaven. 
J. F. I measure it, and it is mine ; the Lord Jesus has 

bought it for me ; nor am I held to pay aught for 

it but thanks.] 



1905.] JOHN FOSTER, ENGRAVER. 57 



M 
JOHN FOSTER 



ARSILLI SUA CENSUS ERAT- 

ovro. 

Skill t»\s his cash. 



* 



[The quotation from Ovid is found in his Metamorphoses 
(III. 588).] 



58 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

The foot-stone now stands back to back with the head-stone, 
and evidently has been taken from its original position. The 
reproduction of the inscriptions was made from rubbings, 
and the size of the original has been reduced three-quarters. 
Foster's will is in his own handwriting, and together with 
the inventory of his estate is given below, as follows: — 



Will 

I John Foster lately of Boston but now residing in Dorchester, finding 
my body weak & languishing, but my understanding not distempered 
or impaired doe declare this to be my last Will, 

I give my Soul unto that God who gave it me ; and my Body to the 
Earth, to be interred as surviving Relations shall see meet. 
That part of my hon. rd Father's Estate given to me in his last Will, 
which as yet I have not received, I give it equally, to my hon. rd - Mother 
one part, to my natural Brethren & Sisters, viz. Thankfull, Patience, 
James, Elisha, Mary, Comfort, & Standfast, each a part; & to my 
Brother Hopestil, his Children one part, to be divided to each of them 
equally. 

I give my house in Dorchester to my hon. rd - Mother. 
My Will is that what I have in Boston belonging to Printing, may be 
sold and such Debts as ^t are due in Boston be therewith paid, my 
mineral Expences discharged ; and 20 or thirty shillings, paid, or re- 
served to pay for a pair of handsome Gravestones ; and that what 
remains may be disposed of as follows, 

I give to the Reverend John Eliot of Roxbury, twenty shillings ; and 
to the Rev. nd - Increase Mather of Boston, twenty shillings ; and to 
M r Cotton Mather twenty shillings 

I give the remainder of that Money (if any remain) equally to my 
hon. rcL Mother and to my loving sister Baker. 
I give also my Medicinal Books to my Sister Thankfull Baker. 
I give my Press-bedstead to my Loving Sister Mary Sale. 
I give a featherbed & bolster to my brother Elisha. 
What may yet remain of mine in Boston or elswhere, not yet dis- 
posed of, as Books, a Clock, &c. I give the one half of them, (or of 
what money they may [projduce) to my hon rd Mother, aud the other 
half to my sister Baker, provided, that the money by them before re- 
ceived, (being the produce of my printing tools) doe not exceed twelve 
pounds apiece ; which if it doe, then I give the aforesaid things, or the 
produce of them, the one half to my Loving Brother Standfast, and 
the other to my Cozens, Silence Baker, & -Pnf icr>o^ ^ Thankfull Brown. 
Now for the accomplishments of this my Will I doe intreat & appoint 







1905.] JOHN FOSTER, ENGRAVER. 59 

my hon rd Mother my Sole Executrix of this my Last Will ; And in 
witness that the above written is my Last Will, I hereunto set my 
hand & Seal this eighteenth day of July, one thousand six hundred 
eighty one. 

Signed Sealed & Declared 
By the abovementioned 
Testator to be His Last Will 
& Testament, In the 
Presence of us : 

John Danforth. 

Joseph Capen. 



M' John Danforth made Oath in mr Joseph Capen made oath that he saw mr 
Court. 6 t . h Octob 1 : 1681. that John Foster signe seal & declare the above 
ifots-is- hee was present and did written to be his last Will & Testament, be- 
see and lieare m* Jn? Foster ing at the same tyme of a disposing mind, to the 
Signe Seale & publish the best of his apprehension, & that he set to his 
above Instrum 1 ; to bee his last hand as a witnesse 
will and that hee was then of Sept: 16* 1681. Before me 
disposeing minde to his best William Stoughton 

understanding Joseph Capen y e . other witness 
being then also present, attests. r 

I: Addington Clrc 

[Endorsed] 

John Foster his 
Will proved. 8^£ 

1681 

Recorded. 



Inventory. 

An Inuentory of the Estate & goods of m r John Fostor Late, of 

Boston deceased, in dorchestor Sept: 9 : 81 taken by us whose names 
be subscribed This 5 octo : 1681 

Imprimis To his Apparell wollen Linen &c all at 7- 0-0 

ff To money & plate & pockett Watch all at — 3-17-0 

ff To a Clock Glasse Gaily potts all at — 2~ 5-0 

■ff To his turning tooles Carueing tools playns &c — 1- 0-0 

ff To his Cuts & Coollors 15 — 0-15-0 

ff To his Gittarue Viall wether glasses — 1- 5-0 

ff To pap printing & wast — 0-17-0 

ff To his bed and furnyture all at — ■ 6- 1-0 

ff To Lead & woodenjack & pt jronjack — 0-12-0 

ff his Book-screw pewtar erthen ware — ■ 0- 8-0 



60 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY [Jan. 

|| A chest & some lumbar — 0- 6-0 

ff To his Bookes all at — 7- 1-6 

n a 

H To An House 15 printing prese &lettars [type] 60 — 75- 0-0 

|| To a shee goote, s 6 — 00- 6-0 

H To debts & patrymony in Reuersion not Knowne 



106-13-6 
Made & Taken, the 5 th of 8^- r 1681 

By us = John Danforth 

James Humfrey 
Timothy Mather senior 
m r . s Mary Foster Exec x made oath in Court. 6* 
Octob r 1 681 : that this is a just & true 
Inventory of the Estate of her late 
Son my John Foster dece"! to her best 
knowledge and yt when shee know's 
of more shee will cause it to bee 

1st Addington Ct r . c 

[Endorsed] 

Jn° Foster his 
Inventory 8^ r 

1681 — 

Recorded. 

The " Carueing tools," mentioned in the Inventory, could 
be no other than engraver's tools; and the "Cuts" with- 
out doubt were his engraved blocks. During the night of 
September 16, 1690, nine years after his death, a printing- 
office in Boston was burned, which was the one that belonged 
probably to his lineal, though not immediate, successor in 
business ; and thus, perhaps, disappeared the last vestige of 
his handicraft with these " Carueing tools." 

Remarks were also made during the meeting by Messrs. 
Winslow Warren, James F. Rhodes, Albert B. Hart, 
Edward Stanwood, Melville M. Bigelow, James F. 
Hunkewell, and Grenville H. Norcross. 

A new serial of the Proceedings, comprising the record of 
the meetings for October, November, and December, 1904, 
was on the table for distribution. 







tf-a&n*J^ rf 



£L*4^ 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 61 



MEMOIR 



OF 



WALBRIDGE A. FIELD, LL.D. 

BY JOHN NOBLE. 



There is already upon record in the Proceedings of this 
Society the appropriate and feeling tribute to the memory of 
Chief Justice Field given at its first meeting after his death, 
by our associate Judge Barker of the Supreme Judicial Court. 
So vivid and lifelike is the presentation of the characteristics 
which made up that striking and forceful personality, and so 
full and discriminating and just the description of the man 
and the magistrate, that he seems almost brought in bodily 
presence before us. It is not for me then, in discharging the 
duty assigned me, to attempt to add to a delineation so com- 
plete and clear, but rather to give merely some brief account 
of the events of his life, with further detail of date and 
circumstance. 

Walbridge Abner Field, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judi- 
cial Court of Massachusetts, died in office on the 15th of July, 
1899. 

He was born in North Springfield, in the State of Vermont, 
on the 26th of April, 1833, the son of Abner and Louisa (Gris- 
wold) Field. 

His Christian name came to him somewhat curiously. 
Several weeks before his birth his mother dreamed she had a 
son and they called him Walbridge. The name was an entirely 
unfamiliar one, unknown in his long ancestry on either side. 
When the son was born, his father said, " Wife, what was the 
name we called him in your dream ? " The leading of the 
dream was followed, and a name was given, somewhat as in 
the Biblical story, — the name mysteriously directed, with 
that of the father added. 



62 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

Both parents were of good New England stock, inheritors 
and representatives of those sturdy qualities, moral and intel- 
lectual, coupled with that delicacy and refinement of feeling 
which go to make up the best of distinctive New England 
character. 

His father was a man in good circumstances, well to do for 
his time and situation, living comfortably, independently, and 
well. He had not had the advantages of what is termed a 
liberal education, but was not without a training that largely 
supplied its place. He was a man naturally bright and of 
good parts, developed in the school of practical life; of sound 
judgment, good sense, and the courage to express his own 
opinions as well as to form them. Born in Vermont, his 
whole life was passed in his native State, — then and for 
years the most homogeneous of the New England States in the 
character of its population, the unmixed New England stock 
and type. 

At the age of twenty-two he began a long and honorable 
mercantile life. Though of delicate health for much of his life, 
he was always active and influential in town affairs. He was 
also the first postmaster of North Springfield, one of the incor- 
porators of the Windsor County Mutual Fire Insurance Com- 
pany, of the Springfield Savings Bank, and of the Bank of 
Black River, and president of the latter for a number of years. 
In politics originally an old-fashioned Whig and later a Repub- 
lican, he served as a member of the General Assembly and as 
a Senator of Windsor County. 

He meant that his son should have to the fullest extent those 
advantages which he perhaps prized more highly from having 
lacked them himself. He gave him the best education which 
his opportunities afforded, through schools and academies, 
finally sending him to college and the law school, furnishing 
the wherewithal in every stage with ready and generous liber- 
ality. He started him on his college course with two thousand 
dollars, — a large sum for those days, — determined that noth- 
ing should interfere with his progress and success. The son 
feelingly appreciated all that his father had done for him and 
fully justified the father's hopes. His college course com- 
pleted, the son with inborn independence and generous heart, 
when his later circumstances allowed it, gratefully and* gra- 
ciously repaid it ; cherishing through his life an abiding 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 63 

remembrance of the obligation to his father's love and encour- 
agement, which could not be discharged. 

Judge Field's mother was a woman of strong character, of 
unusual native ability, of refinement and tenderness of feeling, 
well educated and well read ; a woman who studied and 
thought, and wrote ably and gracefully. In the History of 
Springfield, Vermont, the article " History of North Spring- 
field" was written by her when more than seventy -five years 
old. 

What she was and what she was to him can have no better 
proof than the affection, devotion, and veneration which he 
showed her from his very boyhood up to the close of her 
long and honored life. The closeness and strength of the ties 
that bound the family together, and the beauty and charm of 
the home life there, revealed in many ways, are to be felt rather 
than told. 

A man's ancestry to a large extent is a part of himself, and 
it is always a matter of curious interest to watch the outcrop- 
pings of ancestral traits in the descendant in later times and 
in other circumstances. Judge Field had always a deep in- 
terest and a just pride in the various lines of his forebears. 

On his father's side he was descended from Thomas, the 
nephew and heir of William Field of Field's Point, the first of 
that name in Providence, Rhode Island, who lived there in 
1636 and died in 1665. His will was dated May 30, 1665, in 
which, having no children, he made his nephew his heir. The 
nephew Thomas was in Providence at the date of the will, and 
died there August 10, 1717. He took the oath of allegiance 
in 1667. By his wife, Martha, who died some time after 1708, 
he had three children. The oldest, Thomas, was born about 
1670, in Providence, where he died before October 21, 1752. 
He married Abigail, daughter of William and Abigail Hopkins. 
Their second son, Jeremiah, was born sometime before 1706, 
and died September 2, 1768. He married Abigail, daughter 
of Richard Waterman, December 27, 1725. Their son James, 
the fourth of a family of eight children, was born in Providence, 
July 31, 1738, and died in Vermont. By his first wife, Hannah 
Stone, he had one child, Pardon, who was born in Cranston, 
Rhode Island, April 13, 1761, and who married Elizabeth 
Williams, a lineal descendant of Roger Williams. Their son, 
Abner, was the fifth of a family of nine children. Abner, the 



64 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

father of Chief Justice Field, was born at Chester, Vermont, 
November 28, 1793, and died December 19, 1864. 

His wife was Louisa Griswold, to whom he was married 
February 16, 1832, and Judge Field was the oldest of their 
four children. 1 

His descent from Roger Williams may be traced as follows : 

1. Roger Williams and his wife Mary. 

2. Joseph Williams, their son, born December 12, 1643; died August 

17, 1724. He married Lydia Olney, the daughter of Thomas, 
December 17, 1669. 

3. James Williams, their son, born September 20, 1680, who married 

Elizabeth Blackmar, the daughter of James, and who died June 
25, 1757. 

4. Joseph Williams, their son, born October 24, 1709, who married 

Lydia, the widow of Ichabod Potter, and died July 16, 1761. 

5. Elizabeth Williams, the daughter of Joseph and Lydia, was born 

July 8, 1758, married to Pardon Field, and died at the age of 
eighty-two, August 17, 1840. Their fifth child was Abner, the 
father of Judge Field. 

Through his grandmother he could trace his descent from 
Thomas Olney, James Blackmar, and William Hawkins, the 
father of Blackmar's wife Mary ; and through his grandfather 
Pardon he was descended from Thomas Harris, Gregory Dex- 
ter, John Whipple, Thomas Angell, Thomas Barnes, Hugh 
Stone, and Peter Busecot, — counting no less than twelve 
original Rhode Island settlers among his ancestors. 2 

New England, rather than any single State, claims Judge 
Field. Born in Vermont, where his early life was passed, he 
was educated mainly in New Hampshire, and his most distin- 
guished life work was done in Massachusetts. In Maine he 
found what went to make up the happiness of his domestic and 
home life. As on his father's side he was sprung from the 
early settlers of Rhode Island, so on his mother's side he goes 
back to the early settlers of Connecticut. 

The old Griswold family of Connecticut finds its ancestry 
in Sir Humphrey Griswold, of Malvern Hall, England. The 

1 Genealogy of the Fields of Providence, Rhode Island, as traced by Mrs. Har- 
riet A. Brownell, mainly from records and papers in Rhode Island, and printed 
for private distribution by J. A. & R. A. Reid, Providence, 1878. 

2 The genealogy thus given above was compiled by J. 0. Austin, Esq., of 
Providence, for Judge Field. 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 65 

first of the name on this side of the water were two brothers, 
Edward and Matthew, who came over about 1645. Edward 
settled at Windsor and afterward moved to Killingsworth. 
He was born in England in 1607, where he was married and 
where his children were born, except John, born in America, 
15 August, 1652. John's second wife was Bathsheba North, 
who died March 19, 1736. One of the eleven children born 
of this marriage was Joseph, born September 26, 1690. He 
married Temperance Lay, December 29, 1714, and they had 
eight children. The third, John, married Mary Ward. Their 
son, Daniel, the eighth of a family of twelve children, was the 
father of Judge Field's mother. He was born at Meriden, 
Connecticut, December 5, 1762, and died at Springfield, Ver- 
mont, August 4, 1836. He married, in January, 1786, Annah 
Lenthal Ames, of South Farms, Middletown, Connecticut, 
who was born February 17, 1764, and died June 8, 1826. 
Both are buried in North Springfield, Vermont. 

Here again was a large family, numbering ten ; and the 
youngest, Louisa, was born December 5, 1807, married to 
Abner Field by Rev. Uzziah C. Burnap, February 16, 1832, 
and died at North Springfield in 1884. 

Both the grandparents of Judge Field were persons of 
strongly marked character. The grandfather, Daniel Gris- 
wold, the first one of the name to appear in Vermont, was 
a boy of fourteen at the death of his father, who when along 
in life enlisted under General Putnam at the breaking out of 
the Revolution, and who died from exposure a few weeks after 
the battle on Long Island. A healthy, sturdy boy, full of energy 
and youthful independence, Daniel started out to make his 
way in the world by himself, with the slender outfit of a single 
suit of clothes and a pair of shoes lent him by an older sister. 
At sixteen, undeterred by the fate of his father, he entered the 
army, drawing as pay ten dollars a month in silver, and served 
for nearly a year. By economy without meanness, untiring 
industry, and unflinching determination to succeed, he had laid 
up, by the time he reached his majority, what then seemed 
almost a fortune, a thousand dollars. He saw the opening 
there might be for courage and energy in the wilds of Vermont. 
He bought his first piece of land there in Springfield, August 
24, 1784, — the beginning of those holdings which, before he 
died, made him one of the largest landowners in that region. 

9 



66 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

James Chittenden came up from Connecticut, cleared a part 
of the land, and built a log house on it, where he lived until 
February, 1790. For one or two seasons Daniel worked with 
him, bringing his provisions from Connecticut. The difficul- 
ties to be encountered and the privations in making this 
settlement in a new county were so many as nearly to dis- 
courage him. At last, doubtful of a success that would satisfy 
his expectations, he was tempted to sell out and abandon the 
clearing. But his wife, whom he had married some year and 
a half after his purchase, " would n't listen to this; she had 
made up her mind to go to Vermont, — and they went." 
Starting from Connecticut sometime in 1790, with an ox-team, 
after a rugged journey of ten days, they reached the clearing 
and established themselves in the log house. The proposed 
settlement was an accomplished fact. In three years the log 
house gave place to a frame house, one of the substantial 
structures of the last century, which was standing not 
many years ago and may be to-day. In his new home he 
prospered. 

A thriving farmer in the early days, he became, as the town 
grew up around him, an able man of business and affairs. 
Always respected and influential, of integrity and good judg- 
ment almost proverbial, his counsel was everywhere in request, 
and he found himself occupying all sorts of positions of honor 
and trust among his fellow-men. 

In his wife he found a worthy helpmeet. She was of Con- 
necticut stock, the daughter of Anthony Ames and Hannah 
Eels, and a granddaughter of Lemuel Eels, a minister of the 
new-light faith, and Hannah North, an English lady. Her 
father was said to be " a quiet and remarkably good man," 
and her mother "a very religious woman, perhaps some- 
what exacting, who carried out to the letter in her family 
the spirit of the old Connecticut Blue Laws." The re- 
sult in the daughter was a woman full of life and fun, 
of strong character, proud without vanity, energetic and 
determined, clear-sighted, and strong-willed. The picture 
of their home life, as it lives still in the memory of the 
older people and has been affectionately retraced by their 
descendants, is a most pleasant one, — a well-ordered, busy 
household, with abundance of innocent, simple pleasures 
and amusements, good cheer and comfort and happiness, 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 67 

hospitable and free-handed, with "the latchstring always out, 
and the table always spread for the guest or the stranger." 

Such was Judge Field's ancestry, immediate and remote ; 
and one may perhaps trace in his character, with various 
shadings and modifications and successive developments, many 
of the qualities which marked those long and widely diverging 
lines. 

As a boy he was bright and full of life, eager and ambitious, 
turning to account and making the most of the training he got 
at home and in the common schools. 

As he told his nephew, in after life, one day when he was 
some dozen years old he took his book into the orchard, and 
as he was studying, he determined then and there he " would 
be a scholar," adding modestly that he had fallen far short of 
that youthful purpose. 

In 1846, when thirteen years old, he went to the academy 
in Perkinsville, a little village four miles from his home, 
where he remained for a year. The next year he was in the 
Springfield Wesleyan Seminary, at Springfield, Vermont, — an 
institution which can reckon among its students at different 
times many men to-day prominent around Boston at the bar, 
on the bench, in the pulpit, in journalism, and various other 
callings. Here he spent three years. 

In 1850 he entered the Kimball Union Academy, at Meriden, 
New Hampshire, from which he was graduated in the summer 
of 1851. Here he at once took hiodi rank and was the vale- 

o 

dictorian of his class. One must be familiar with New England 
life in the country fully to appreciate what these rural acad- 
emies were and stood for sixty years or more ago, and to know 
their influence upon education and the community generally. 
They were often the centres of the social and intellectual life 
of the vicinity. They brought together young people from 
different and frequently widely separated districts, and had 
the stimulating and liberalizing influence of miniature colleges ; 
perhaps no times were more fondly recalled in after life or 
were fuller of pleasant memories and associations for the old 
students than the years spent in them. 

In the fall of 1851 he entered Dartmouth College, — a college 
which, as in Webster's day, has always been peculiarly dear 
to its graduates, — one of the best types of the college of the 



68 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

elder day, holding to the old ways and ideas of general liberal 
development and training. In this wider field he at once came 
into prominence as a scholar, taking the position which he held 
throughout, the leader of his class in scholarship. Under the 
college system of rating he held through his whole course the 
standing of absolute perfection, — a rank reached by only two 
other men in the history of the college, Rufus Choate and 
Professor Putnam. There is still in evidence an annual report 
made under "an Ordinance of the Trustees" " to the Parent 
or Guardian" by President Lord, August 1, 1854, giving in 
detail the record of Judge Field's junior year: not an absence* 
unexcused or excused, from college, chapel and church, or 
recitation ; and his " scholarship," as determined by recitation 
and examination, in each the highest mark attainable. In 
college, while not especially prominent as a club or society 
man, he was popular and respected, with recognized qualities 
of leadership and influence. Among other instances of acting 
as a representative of the college on several occasions, he was 
a delegate on the student committee to the funeral of Daniel 
Webster at Marshfield. He was not an athlete in the modern 
college sense, but was a man of athletic build and strength. 
He had a decided mechanical capacity, and while in college, 
or before, he invented a mowing-machine, not unlike those of 
to-day, and contrived a successful corn-dropper ; he was fond 
of tools, and took care to have good ones and to be well sup- 
plied. For a part of his college life he roomed in the Obser- 
vatory, — somewhat lonesome quarters, perhaps, but it gave 
him a chance to study astronomy, in which he was much inter- 
ested, and a practical knowledge of the use and handling of 
telescopes and other astronomical instruments. 

By the long vacation and from the arrangement of studies 
in the winter, peculiar opportunities were at that time given 
to such students as desired to teach a term in country schools. 
He availed himself of this, and, like many other young men, 
not so much from necessity as from a desire for wider experi- 
ence and to test his own powers, taught three winters while 
in college. His first school was in Baltimore, Vermont, a 
little town, described as "a terrible rough place in winter." 
It gave him ample opportunity for the purpose and the trial. 
He had several scholars older and larger than himself, and he 
" boarded round," — one of the places being a long distance 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 69 

from the school-house and on a road famous for its drifts, 
which meant much in Vermont. The experiment was a suc- 
cess. The next winter he taught in a little red school-house, 
not far from his own home, where the compensation was in 
keeping with the school-house. In 1854 he taught a winter 
term of school in Andover, Massachusetts. The Report of the 
School Committee says: "The school lost none of its former 
interest, but advanced steadily to a still higher order of excel- 
lence. The method of instruction adopted by Mr. Field was em- 
inently thorough and scholarlike. He brought to his work a 
most ready and complete acquaintance with the subjects he was 
to teach, and a remarkable power of giving to his pupils by 
uttered words, by pictured illustration, and by the use of 
objects, a knowledge of the lesson taught. ... It is to be 
regretted that a school so judiciously managed, so effectively 
and thoroughly instructed, could continue but eleven weeks." 
With this school ended satisfactorily his work as a school- 
master. 

His college vacations were spent wholly or mainly at home. 
One of his most strongly marked characteristics was the depth 
and tenderness of his love for his kith and kin, and his abid- 
ing affection for his old home and all its surroundings. And 
these held with him through his whole life. He was always 
doing for the rest of the household. The sister next him, and 
less than two years younger, died when he was about ten. 
The brother and his other sister, both considerably younger 
than he, remember him as always thoughtful of them, adding 
whenever he could to their happiness, always considerate and 
alive to their interests. His vacations were full, not so much 
of recreation and rest for himself, as of occupation to give 
pleasure and help to the others in the old home; and this 
held true of all his visits in his later life. 

He took especial pleasure in all work upon the land. Like 
old Thomas Fuller, he felt that u to smell to a turf of fresh 
earth is wholesome for the body." 

His father owned a farm of considerable extent, and though 
he had a tenant to carry it on and relieve him of labor, the 
son could find scope enough for work and sufficient field for 
his energy. He found something to do in the fields, in the 
orchards, in the woods. Now he would be making flower- 
beds for his mother, now repairing or constructing a sidewalk, 



70 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

now clearing away or trimming trees, now helping in the hay- 
ing or the harvesting, now digging a good ditch, now setting 
out trees. A row of chestnut trees stands to-day as a witness 
to his foresight. He was never idle, and his work was for 
others rather than himself. 

Thanksgiving rarely or never failed to bring him to the old 
home and the family gathering; and during the last twenty 
years of his mother's life, through her widowhood to her death 
in 1884, the succession of visits was unbroken, unless possibly 
in a single year. 

His attachment for the very land which his father owned 
for so many years, and a part of which had been in the pos- 
session of his grandfather Griswold, was almost a passion. He 
would never allow any of it to go out of the family name or 
consent to the sale of a foot of the ancestral acres. It is said 
he once yielded in the case of a remote pasture, with few asso- 
ciations to endear it, but was relieved and glad when the sale 
fell through. 

He had a keen interest, too, in all that concerned the town 
of his birth, its people and its life. One of its institutions was 
the old-fashioned country tyceum, — that agency which did 
so much for the intellectual entertainment and cultivation as 
well as the social enjoyment of New England towns sixty or 
more years ago. In this in his younger days he was one of 
the best debaters and of the most active workers. He went 
beyond town lines. To everything connected with Vermont 
he was always alive. He never slackened in his love for his 
native State and his pride in it. 

The four years of his college life carried him to the age of 
twenty-two, and in their developing experience meant much 
to him. Entering well equipped, well provided for, strong 
and energetic, full of enthusiasm, with his youthful purpose 
always before him and bent on its accomplishment, he made 
the most of his college course and graduated with earned and 
deserved honors. He was at once appointed a tutor of Latin, 
Greek, and Mathematics, and held this position through the two 
years 1856 and 1857. His success in that field was marked. 
There came an offer of a professorship later. He said little of 
what he did in college, but was ever ready to speak of what 
the college did for him. He was always an intense Dartmouth 
man. The Dartmouth spirit is distinctive and alive. Loyal 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 71 

to the college, proud of her and of the list of famous names 
upon her roll, her graduates hold together like brothers by 
blood or Scottish clansmen. Sturdy, aggressive, plucky, inde- 
pendent, they make and will make themselves felt wherever 
they are, whether it be on the bench, at the bar, in the pulpit, 
in medicine, in the cabinet, in politics, or in affairs. 

On resigning his tutorship, he began the study of law in 
1858, in the office of Harvey Jewell, then a prominent lawyer 
of Boston, at No. 20 Court Street, in the old Tudor Building, 
low-browed and sombre, which stood at the corner of Court 
Street and Court Square, hard by the Court House. A law 
office then, even the most famous, was, in its equipment and 
with its one or two students, in striking contrast to the offices 
of to-day. 

In 1859, September 28, he entered the Harvard Law School, 
then under the charge of its three professors, Parker, Parsons, 
and Washburn, with its old-fashioned courses of lectures. He 
left the school in 1860. 

In January, 1859, he took charge of the professorship of 
Mathematics at Dartmouth for the spring and summer terms. 
He then resumed his legal studies, and was admitted to the bar 
in Suffolk County May 12, 1860, and soon after in the United 
States Courts for the District of Massachusetts, and began the 
active practice of his profession with Mr. Jewell. 

In 1863 came one of those trying occasions which sometimes 
come in a young man's life, when his decision at the parting 
of the ways means much to him. It sometimes means much 
to the world. It was the proposal to make him professor of 
Mathematics in his Alma Mater. His decision and the grounds 
for it appear in a letter to his friend Professor Patterson, de- 
clining to be considered a candidate, and are so characteristic 
that some extracts from the letter are here given : — 

"And so the whole question with me is, ' Do I desire to abandon the 
law and become a professor of Mathematics in Dartmouth College ' . . . 
Such a professorship has to me a great many attractions. I like math- 
ematical studies and teaching; — the position confers considerable solid 
respectability and honor, more than any other I can obtain, and the 
salary is quite sufficient for my wauts. If my character, conduct, and 
scholarship should prove reasonably acceptable, I see that I could soon 
have a house, a wife, good social position, and some leisure with desira- 
ble opportunities for study. These things are not certain but probable. 



72 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

I might perhaps stipulate for six months or a year to go to Europe in, 
and then should become (D. V.) one of the better clas's of citizens of New 
Hampshire. In the law few of these things are now to me reasonably 
certain ; if attained at all they lie many years ahead, and the chances 
are perhaps against my ever attaining them. I do not altogether like 
the practice of the law, and have a distinct knowledge of the kind and 
amount of drudgery I must bear in it. Yet the position of a good law- 
yer in large practice in this city is an enviable one, and even an hum- 
bler place than that in the profession has many consolations. I do 
not wish to take counsel immoderately of my hopes or my fears. I 
have carefully considered whether on the whole I desire to abandon law 
for even a professorship of Mathematics, and have made up my mind 
that I will take the risks of the law. I may repent it to-morrow, but I 
sing the law to-night. I am resolved to go on in it, and when I have 
lost heart and hope, I will write you frankly and ask for what I want 
in place of it." 

Later he was also offered a professorship in Washington 
University, St. Louis, which he declined. 

He advanced rapidly in his profession, and also found time 
to take some part creditably in politics and city affairs. He was 
a member of the School Committee in 1863 and 1864. There 
were then on the Board Rev. Drs. Lothrop, Gannett, Bur- 
roughs, and Coolidge, Drs. Homans, Hayward, Shurtleff, Coale, 
LeBaron Russell, and A. A. Gould, Henry W. Haynes, Russell 
Sturgis, Jr., and F. H. Underwood, and several well-known 
lawyers, to mention only a few of the men of prominence. 

In 1865, 1866, and 1867 he served in the Common Council, 
where he was associated with Alexander Wadsworth, William 
W. Warren, Benjamin F. Stevens, Francis W. Palfrey, Clement 
Willis, John C. Haynes, Solomon B. Stebbins, Benjamin Dean, 
Lewis Rice, Henry D. Hyde, and many other well-known 
citizens. 

He was for a time a Trustee of the City Hospital, and was 
a delegate to attend the funeral of President Abraham Lincoln. 
In July, 1865, he was appointed Assistant United States Dis- 
trict Attorney for Massachusetts under Richard H. Dana, and 
continued as such with him and his successor, George S. Hil- 
lard, until 1869. He then became, by appointment of President 
Grant, Assistant Attorney-General of the United States, under 
Judge Hoar, then Attorney-General, with whom he continued 
till August, 1870. On April 30, 1869, he was delegated by 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 73 

President Grant " to perform the duties of Attorney-General 
of the United States during the temporary absence of Hon. 
E. R. Hoar." General Bristow has spoken of him as the 
ablest Assistant Attorney-General he had ever known. 

Upon his resignation as Assistant Attorney-General in 1870, 
he became a partner in the law firm of Jewell, Gaston, & 
Field, with offices at 5 Tremont Street. In 1875 Mr. Gaston, 
having been elected Governor, retired from the firm, and, Ed- 
ward 0. Shepard being admitted, the firm became Jewell, Field, 
& Shepard. Judge Field continued in the active practice of 
his profession and with distinguished success until his appoint- 
ment to the bench. His practice was largely in the Supreme 
Court. The firm were counsel for several large corporations, 
and the character of their general business was important. He 
appeared before the court oftener than before juries, and in 
cases of the former sort was perhaps at his best. His character 
and temperament, however, gave him power before juries. 

He never aimed at display or so-called oratory. But he was 
always clear and strong, and could become eloquent, in the best 
sense of the term, from the force and point of his statement, the 
strength of his own convictions in the right of his case, and his 
determination to do it the fullest justice. His arguments 
before the court in bane upon questions of law were always 
especially able and effective. 

While he was at the bar he took much interest in politics, 
municipal, State, and national. He was delegate to conven- 
tions, a chairman of the Committee on Resolutions at a State 
convention, and wherever and however serving, was always 
efficient. In 1876 he was the Republican candidate for Con- 
gress from the Third District. His election was contested. 
The question was a narrow and peculiar one. He received 
9,295 votes upon the regular ballot and 25 votes in the same 
district upon the Prohibition ticket, which described the can- 
didate as of the Fourth District. It was before the day of the 
Australian ballot and election commissioners. His opponent, 
Benjamin Dean, the Democratic candidate, received 9,315 votes. 
Rev. Dr. Miner, Chairman of the Prohibition Committee, testi- 
fied before the Board of Aldermen, as canvassers of the elec- 
tion returns, that the ballots of the party he represented were 
wrongly printed and were intended for Walbridge A. Field's 
candidacy. The aldermen made return to the Secretary of 

10 



74 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

State in favor of the Republican candidate, and he received the 
certificate of election. Mr. Dean contested the case before 
the United States House of Representatives, which was then 
Democratic, and was given the seat, March 28, 1878. 

In 1878 Judge Field and Mr. Dean were again the can- 
didates for the House of Representatives, and the election 
resulted in favor of Judge Field by a majority of 441. At the 
expiration of his term in Congress he declined to be a can- 
didate for re-election. 

While in the thick of the contest as to the disputed seat, 
it is understood he was offered a place on the bench of the 
Supreme Court by Governor Rice, but feeling that he owed a 
duty to his constituents, and that to retire might result in the 
loss of the district to his party, he declined to have his name 
considered, however agreeable and honorable the position. 

His service in Congress was brief, but long enough to give 
him prominence. He was a strong party man, but his fair- 
mindedness, his sense of justice public and private, his desire 
to do right everywhere, his judicial temperament, were as con- 
spicuous here as elsewhere, and were recognized. He cared 
not so much for filling the columns of the Congressional Rec- 
ord as for looking out for the public welfare by vote, by voice, 
and by service. His career in Congress, in a field perhaps not 
wholly congenial, was creditable to himself and the State. 

A man's home life hardly belongs to the dry pages of a 
memoir like this. It is enough to say that all those qualities 
which so endeared Judge Field to the wide and ever widening 
body of friends found here full scope and play, — his gentle- 
ness, warmth of feeling, kindness, and courtesy, and his power 
of drawing all to him, so that even the little children of his 
street watched for his coming and welcomed him as if of their 
own household. October 4, 1869, he was married to Eliza 
Ellen McLoon, daughter of William and Hannah (Keating) 
McLoon, of Rockland, Maine. She died March 8, 1877, leav- 
ing two children, Eleanor Louise, born January 1, 1871, and 
Elizabeth Lenthal, born February 6, 1873. October 31, 1882, 
he was married to Frances Eaton Far well, daughter of Hon. 
Nathan Allen and Jerusha (Thomas) Farwell, of Rockland, 
who survives him. 

Judge Field was for a long time connected with the South 
Congregational Church, under the charge of Rev. Dr. Edward 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 75 

Everett Hale, and a member of its Standing Committee. Of 
his services here it has been said of him that his legal knowl- 
edge, his good common sense, his practical wisdom as a man of 
affairs, his sound judgment, his delicate moral sense, and his 
warm interest in the church made him an invaluable member. 

He was a member of many societies and organizations ; 
among them the Vermont Association of Boston, the Dart- 
mouth Club, the Union Club, the University Club, the Law 
Club, the Art Club, the Saturday Club, so noted for the liter- 
ary standing and distinction of its members, and of which he 
was at one time the President. He was interested and active 
in the general association of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and 
one of its senators ; in the Alumni Association of Dartmouth 
College and its President ; in the New England Historic 
Genealogical Society, and in the Massachusetts Historical 
Society. 

He was chosen a Resident Member of our Society April 12, 
1894. His official duties and engagements prevented him from 
being a constant or even a frequent attendant of its meetings. 
The like reason kept him from writing any papers or commu- 
nications, but when present he was ready to take part in its 
discussions. At the February meeting in 1895 he spoke upon 
the death of Judge Hoar. 

The degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by Harvard 
University in 1886, and by Dartmouth College in 1888. 

It is as a member of the highest court of the Commonwealth 
that Judge Field will be most widely known and lastingly 
remembered. The fame of a lawyer is fleeting ; of the most 
illustrious names only the shadow is left in later years ; — with 
a judge it is otherwise, and this may be one of the compensa- 
tions for laborious days and scant remuneration. 

Judge Field was appointed an Associate Justice of the 
Supreme Judicial Court on February 21, 1881, upon the resig- 
nation of Seth Ames, and took his seat two days later. On 
the 4th of September, 1890, he was appointed Chief Justice 
upon the resignation of Marcus Morton. 

Certain qualities have often been set down as essential to a 
good nisi prius judge or a justice sitting singly. A few among 
them, — adequate learning, legal instinct, familiarity with 
decisions, mastery of pleading, practice and procedure, grip of 
principles, knowledge of human nature and ability to read 



76 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

men, power to grasp, sift, and balance evidence, coolness and 
courtesy, patience and sound common sense, clearness and ac- 
curacy of statement, the capacity to hold well in hand a trial 
or a hearing, good judgment, and the mastership of the situa- 
tion, whatever it may be. Of these Judge Field had many, 
and also the superadded qualification of a successful Chief 
Justice, — executive and administrative ability. 

The general recognition by the public of the fitness of each 
appointment was most striking. And this was especially so 
in the case of the Chief Justiceship, when among the names 
mentioned in connection with the place were those of men of 
remarkable and unusual qualifications and most brilliant repu- 
tation, — leaders of the bar of the highest eminence, and a 
fellow member of the bench, the brilliant lawyer and the 
finished orator, the elegant scholar, the distinguished soldier, 
the chivalrous and accomplished gentleman, — and when gen- 
eral acquiescence in the result was something hardly to have 
been expected. It was certainly no slight tribute to the man. 

Judge Field's judicial life lies recorded between the 130th 
volume of the Massachusetts Reports, which announces his 
appointment to the bench, and the 174th volume, which an- 
nounces his death ; and his judicial work between the 131st 
and 173d volumes. 

His first opinion appears in vol. 131, April 11, 1881, dealing 
with a question of contributory negligence ; and his last in vol. 
173, in 1899, involving a point of practice and his sole opinion 
in the volume. 

The number of opinions written by him while upon the 
bench is very nearly eight hundred ; exclusive of any per 
curiam opinions, a considerable part of which he would 
naturally write, and exclusive of any opinions rendered in 
response to questions submitted by other branches of the 
government. It would be impossible within any due limits 
here to attempt any analysis of these eight hundred, or even 
to enumerate the subjects included in them. There are few, 
perhaps, which may be called epoch-making opinions, and the 
occasions for such are naturally infrequent. They all bring 
out the quickness and clearness with which he seized upon 
the points of a case, his accuracy and precision of statement, 
the founding and placing the decision upon fundamental 
grounds, and making it square with the great principles of 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 77 

justice. He was a laborious worker and writer. While he 
could frame an order or a decree or a rule off-hand, as exi- 
gency required, accurately and felicitously, he was never 
satisfied with an opinion he had written, but subjected it to 
revision and emendation, till often he had written and re- 
written it several times. As he once said, it was never safe 
until it was out of his hands. This constant revision was not 
for the purpose of changing the result or varying the grounds, 
but to modify the expression or statement, so as to make sure 
that there was no loop-hole for misunderstanding, no possibility 
of misconstruction, and that it embodied the precise meaning 
he intended to convey. Hence he found his place hard and 
wearing beyond what it would otherwise have been. 

The opinions cover a great variety of subjects and points, 
and illustrate the number and range of the matters coming 
before the court of last resort, and the complexity and im- 
portance of the questions requiring its decisions. New 
questions or new phases of old questions are constantly com- 
ing up. Certain fundamental principles of law may be firmly 
established, but their application to new and ever-varying 
conditions growing out of social and economic changes, new 
enterprises, new agencies, often present difficulties not easily 
solved. It is often easier to say what the law should be than 
what it is. Over and beyond profound learning the legal 
instinct is necessary. However exacting the labor devolving 
upon any judge may be, the strain upon any member of an 
appellate court is intense and almost unbroken. 

Judge Field's judicial life is written enduringly in those 
more than forty volumes of the Massachusetts Reports, and 
it is enough to say here that he well sustained the character 
and standing that has always belonged to the judiciary of this 
Commonwealth, and fills an honorable place in the long line 
of illustrious names that grace and dignify its highest 
tribunal. 

During his administration as Chief Justice the Supreme 
Court removed from its old quarters in the Court House on 
Court Street and was installed in the new Court House in 
Pemberton Square. Many of the details of arrangement had 
been made under his immediate supervision, and much of the 
work of settling down and establishing it in its new domains 
devolved on him. 



78 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

He was always interested in historical matters, and this 
appears in many of his written decisions. While Chief Justice 
he found much satisfaction in collecting and preserving 
memorials, not only of his predecessors in office, but of the 
many justices who had sat upon the bench of the court from 
the earliest times down to his own day, and the eminent law- 
yers who had practised at its Bar. A result of his efforts 
appears in an extensive collection of autographs, likenesses, 
and various memorials of those worthies of the elder and the 
later day. These find a fitting abiding-place in one of the 
consultation rooms, which is fitted up with the solid old 
furniture that belonged to its former lobby. The work 
which he happily began and started an interest in, has been 
since kept up. 

For a long time before his death he had been in failing 
health, and as time went on his suffering was often intense. 
But he gave no outward sign of the struggle, either in 
manner or expression, and without flinching held on serenely 
with heroic fortitude, asking and taking no exemption. 

In January, 1899, his physicians counselled a complete 
rest from his official duties. When he hesitated and shrank 
from acceding to their advice, in his fear of causing a delay 
or interruption in the work of the court, the Bar Associa- 
tion conveyed to him most gracefully a unanimous vote, 
asking him to listen to that advice and take the needed rest. 
His brethren on the bench gave every assistance within 
their power and whatever relief was possible. He had the 
heroic temper, the feeling of the soldier that he could not 
leave his post. On the evening of the 15th of July the end 
came, and he died, — the tenth Chief Justice of the court 
to die in office. 

His funeral was at the South Congregational Church in 
Exeter Street. The service was conducted by Rev. Dr. Hale, 
and the pallbearers were President William J. Tucker, of 
Dartmouth College, Justice Gray, of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, Judge Holmes, of the Supreme Court of Massa- 
chusetts, ex-Governor Brackett, by whom he was appointed 
Chief Justice, Judge Sherman, of the Superior Court, Charles 
Francis Adams, and Richard Olney. The church was filled, 
though it was the broken period of midsummer. As was said 
by a leading journal, — 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 79 

" Nothing could have more clearly, evidenced the breadth and depth of 
the community's respect and esteem for the late Chief Justice than the 
congregation drawn from almost every rank of life, which assembled 
at the church to do honor to his memory. Not only were eminent jurists 
and members of leading bar associations present, but there were also 
in attendance men of all professions, callings, and occupations. It was 
a singularly scholarly gathering and a notable one, and those who com- 
posed it came not from Boston and Massachusetts alone, but from most 
of the States of New England." 

The Commonwealth was represented by the Governor and 
Lieutenant-Governor, and the City of Boston by its Mayor 
and other officers; there were the judges of all the courts, 
leading lawyers of the city and the whole Commonwealth, 
delegates from the numerous societies and organizations with 
which he was connected, officials of the Church and of the 
State, and citizens of every class. The service, simple as he 
himself would have desired, was touching and solemn from the 
depth of feeling and affection manifested everywhere in the 
large congregation. 

The public memorial tributes were fittingly closed by the 
meeting of the bar of the Commonwealth in November. In 
the court room from whose bench he had himself so feelingly 
and appropriately responded to the resolutions upon the death 
of Judge Hoar and of his late associate Judge Devens, were 
gathered the leading lawyers, not only of Boston, but from 
every part of the State, and the younger men who came with 
a peculiar feeling of love and veneration of his memory. The 
words which were spoken were eloquent, not only in them- 
selves, but even more in the depth of feeling which underlay 
them all. The address of Attorney-General Knowlton, the 
resolutions adopted by the bar, and the response of the court 
are entered upon the records of the court. The proceedings 
are set out in full in volume 174 of the Massachusetts Reports. 
Perhaps a single extract may be taken from the resolutions 
as a brief summary of some of the leading characteristics of 
the Chief Justice as shown in his official career, in the judg- 
ment of the bar, though the whole would be required to give 
a just and adequate appreciation : — 

" His interests and habits were scholarly. His reading was wide and 
his knowledge deep and thorough. His learning was accurate. His 
mental equipment was mathematical and practical rather than meta- 



80 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

physical and theoretical. He dealt with the concrete rather than 
the abstract. No subject of human knowledge was too great for his 
comprehension, no distinction too small to escape his attention. Un- 
tiringly diligent, his retentive memory preserved the fruits of a wise 
industry. His mind was well ordered. It was too well balanced for ex- 
aggeration. Open and candid in all his methods, he was quick to detect 
any subtlety. For him sophistry had no attraction. He had in a 
remarkable degree that indispensable attribute of a great judge, com- 
mon sense, which has been aptly defined by one of his predecessors in his 
great office as an ' instinctive knowledge of the true relation of things/ 
"Ample, ready, and well digested learning, common sense, power, 
accuracy of perception, discriminating analysis, skill to apply old prin- 
ciples to new cases, impartiality, charity, patience, moderation, industry, 
courtesy, integrity, and public spirit have ever characterized our 
judiciary, but Chief Justice Field had all these qualities, with manly 
modesty, sweetness of temper, pure-mindedness, gentleness of heart, 
and beauty of character, in rare and perfect combination. " 

The words of the Attorney-General were full of warm and 
reverent affection, and brought out eloquently and forcibly the 
life and character of Judge Field. Chief Justice Holmes's re- 
sponse, speaking in the name of the court but with his own 
personality shaping the whole, was a most impressive and 
affecting tribute to the memory of his predecessor. The deli- 
cate discrimination, the keen appreciation, the warmth of affec- 
tion, and the intensity of feeling running through it all, make 
any selection from it a break in its impressiveness. 

How the community regarded Chief Justice Field, its high 
estimation of him as a man and as a magistrate, the confidence 
reposed in him, the love and admiration everywhere felt, and 
the sense of loss to it in his death, come out with singular 
force in the comments of the press, in the proceedings of soci- 
eties, in the expression of men of all sorts and conditions as 
well as in those of his near associates and friends. There is 
room only for the merest reference to them here. 

Any attempted analysis of a man's characteristics is often 
on the one hand cold and hard and dry, or on the other partial 
and vague or indiscriminate praise. Its results may be de- 
pendent on the point of view, the occasion, the relation. 
When, however, the conclusions are concurrent, the points 
sharply defined, the final estimate unvarying, such character- 
ization carries conviction of its accuracy and justice. 

In the case of Judge Field the qualities dwelt upon are 



1905.] MEMOIR OF WALBRIDGE A. FIELD. 81 

an all-round development of character, intellectual strength, 
soundness of judgment, excellent sense, ripe scholarship, 
breadth of learning, — general as well as legal, — a mind of ex- 
treme quickness of perception, fertility of suggestion, compre- 
hensive, absorbent, tenacious ; of wonderful keenness and 
activity, trained and developed to a remarkable degree. 

All recount his devotion to duty, his regard for public in- 
terests, his intense desire to do absolute justice and the thing 
which he believed to be right. They speak of his untiring 
diligence, his evenness of temper and sweetness of disposition, 
a patience which seemed exhaustless, a fine sense of honor, 
the courage of his convictions, and his unswerving independ- 
ence, his absolute integrity. He was a man of liberal views, 
elegant tastes, free-handed, and generous. He was thoroughly 
democratic in all his feelings and ways, his regard for the 
rights of others scrupulous and unvarying, and his honesty 
of purpose everywhere apparent. He had a keen sense of 
humor, enjoyed a bright remark or a good joke, and was him- 
self ready at either, with a faculty for putting a thing sharply 
and concretely in old New England fashion. He had the ut- 
most kindness of heart ; sensitive himself, he was regardful of 
the feelings of others. Quick and keen of apprehension as he 
was, if he was ever impatient of dulness he never showed it. 
He had, perhaps, a touch of imperiousness in his natural dis- 
position, — which he was conscious of and perhaps proud of as 
his by right of inheritance, — but it was always held in check, 
and seldom, if ever, manifested. He was courteous alike to 
all, and in bearing and instincts in the best sense a gentleman. 
Such, without individualizing them, were the judgments passed 
upon him. 

The resolutions adopted by the Curtis Club conclude : " He 
represented the best product of New England life ; a just and 
able magistrate ; a public-spirited and unselfish citizen ; a true 
man ; in all the relations of strength and tenderness, a life 
sweetened and adorned by a rare modesty which seemed to 
conceal from himself the virtues and ability which were 
apparent to all other eyes." 

At a meeting of the Association of the Alumni of Dartmouth 
College resolutions were presented by Judge Richardson, a fel- 
low-student of his in college, later a trustee of his Alma Mater, 
and a lifelong friend, in the course of which it was said : — 

11 



82 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Jan. 

" It has been the happy lot of but few men to have been given in such 
felicitous union so many very great qualities, with so many lovable 
and charming traits of person in the affairs of friendship and private 
life. To splendid natural intellectual power, cultivated with untiring 
industry, improved by great learning, and adorned by brilliant scholar- 
ship, were joined a fine moral sense, generous sentiments, kindness of 
heart, and all those qualities which give to friendship and society their 
enjoyment and charm. He was absolutely truthful ; he had perfect in- 
tegrity, a vigorous sense and love of justice, which secured and held 
the confidence of men in his great office, and withal a sweetness of tem- 
per, an innate kindness, a regard for others, and a gentleness which 
won the affection of those who had the happiness to know him more in- 
timately ; and over all, illumining all, was the radiance of an absolutely 
pure personal moral character." 

But the bench, the bar, close friends and associates, the 
press, and the general public were not alone in paying tribute 
to his memory. The Church bore witness to its appreciation of 
that element of character, dwelt upon and felt by all, but which 
had for it an especial appeal. 

At the funeral service the Rev. Dr. Hale referred to Judoe 
Field's decisions as said to bear always on the eternal princi- 
ples of things and to be based on the eternal principles of law 
and justice, and after quoting from the scriptural account 
of the Judges of Israel, said of the Chief Justice : " Judges 
are those to whom the word of God has come. Judge Field knew 
the word of God, and heard the voice of God, and knew how 
to make it a part of his daily life." 

What had been said of another was not unfitly applied to 
the Chief Justice: "When death transplanted him to his 
place in the Garden of the Lord, he found little that was 
perishable to prune away." 

The Rev. Dr. Gordon wrote of him : " He was sent forth 
with the measuring rod of righteousness in his hand ; in the 
strength of the eternal righteousness he used his high instru- 
ment ; he was ever in sympathy with the Supreme purpose." 

And the estimate of many others, varying in the expression, 
might be summed up in the words of that brief but wonder- 
fully complete account given of one of old : he " walked with 
God : and he was not; for God took him." 



1905.] PEMAKKS BY THE VICE-PRESIDENT. 83 



FEBRUARY MEETING, 1905. 

The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at three o'clock, P. M. In the absence of the President, the 
senior Vice-President presided. 

The record of the January meeting was read and approved ; 
and reports were presented by the Corresponding Secretary 
and the Librarian. Among the gifts to the Library was the 
original manuscript Diary of Lieutenant Dudley- Bradstreet, 
of Groton, kept at the Siege of Louisbourg in 1745, given by 
Miss Sarah C. Kemp, of Brookline. It has been on deposit 
for the last eight years. 

The Vice-Ppesident said : — 

I wish to call the attention of members to a new por- 
trait of Mr. George Livermore which was hung in this room 
yesterday. It takes the place of a large photograph, from 
which it was copied, that came into the possession of the 
Society at the same time as the gift of the Dowse Library, on 
July 30, 1856. We are largely indebted to Mr. Livermore 
for this valuable collection of books and for the furnishings of 
this room, as well as a handsome fund to be used for the 
benefit of the Society, for it was solely through him that Mr. 
Dowse was induced to make his munificent gift. Mr. Liver- 
more was a close student of American history, and in many 
ways was an indefatigable worker in the interest of the So- 
ciety and its objects. He was chosen a member on November 
22, 1849, and died on August 30, 1865 ; and to the present 
members he is a tradition and not a memory, there being only 
four who were connected with the Society at the time of his 
death. 

As a coincidence it may be worthy of record that since 
the last meeting Mr. Goodspeed, the bookseller, has given me 
a note written by Mr. Livermore to Mr. Deane, informing 
him of the death of Mr. Dowse. It was found in a book 
which presumably belonged to Mr. Deane and was sold with 
his library. The note reads as follows : — 



84 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

[November 4, 1856.] 

Dear Deane, — Our good old friend, Mr. Dowse, is dead. He 
died soon after I left him this morning. I am going to Cambridge 
to see about arranging for the funeral. 

Y'rs ever, G. L. 

[Addressed] 

Charles Deane, Esq., 

Waterston, Deane & Co., 
Federal Street, 
Boston. 

Together with this note was saved a printed notice of the 
Historical Society, requesting the members to attend the 
funeral of Mr. Dowse, from his late residence in Cambridge- 
port, on Thursday, November 6, at 12 o'clock, M. 

Colonel William R. Livermore spoke in substance as 
follows : — 

Mr. President, — Mr. Livermore's sons feel deeply the kind 
compliment that the Society has paid to his memory by 
placing his portrait here in its halls, which were the nearest 
to his heart of all those centres around which the galaxy of 
illustrious and earnest men of his day had their assemblies. 
He loved its rooms, not only for the sympathy he felt with its 
individual members, but because he recognized that it was 
around such foci that all great movements in the history of 
civilization took their origin. 

The men who clustered here have been compared with those 
who attended the receptions of Aspasia, and Mr. Livermore 
believed that its hundred members became a hundred times a 
hundred working men in virtue of this Society. The spark 
that was lighted at this hearth and is still burning warmly if 
not ostentatiously has spread from one end of the country to 
the other, and its influence is now felt in every corner of the 
earth. 

Mr. Livermore especially encouraged the social meetings of 
the Society, because he believed that it was at the discussions 
which followed the reading of the papers that suggestions were 
thrown out which led to the propagation of ideas, — that it 
was this intercourse which enabled each member to take up the 
work where another left it and help him to prosecute it. But 
it was especially the formation of high standards that made 



1905.] REMARKS BY WILLIAM R. LIVERMORE. 85 

these societies so interesting to Mr. Livermore. Pie tried to 
imbibe those traits of character which he admired in the older 
members, and his gentle influence helped to inspire the younger 
members of the Society with his views of life. 

But behind all this gentle influence those who knew him 
well, recognized the indomitable will which enabled him to 
hold up his high standard to his friends whenever he thought 
they were too much absorbed in literature or in the rude bustle 
of political life. He believed that the mission and duty of New 
England was not only to enlighten America and make it re- 
spected abroad, but especially to create and infuse into it a 
high national character for integrity and for a broad and uni- 
versal interest in humanity, to uphold it against the slavery 
of the South and the commercialism of the North, — such prin- 
ciples as those that we have seen so boldly advocated by our 
lamented Senator Hoar. 

While Mr. Livermore never wished to hold a political office, 
it is hard to estimate the extent of his influence when the rep- 
resentatives of all the old parties met at his house fifty years 
ago and discussed the formation of the new party. Through- 
out the Civil War his influence tended to calm the fury of 
some and to stimulate the political activity of others, and 
when the end came his own soon followed, mainly from the 
nervous strain which reached its climax when the assassina- 
tion of President Lincoln threatened to throw the country 
into another great convulsion. 

Mr. Livermore was a merchant because he believed that it 
was the first duty of the American citizen to contribute in 
some way to the commercial fabric on which the nation was 
founded. But he regarded trade as the means and not the 
end, still less as the master. He took for his model William 
Roscoe, of Liverpool, a man with whom literature was the 
end and commerce the means. It would be a pleasure to 
him to know that the Society has placed his picture by the 
side of Roscoe's bust and those of his good friends, Win- 
throp the distinguished President of the Society, the tender, 
sympathetic and brilliant Prescott, and the eloquent and 
classical Everett. 

It would be out of place for me now to refer to my father's 
work. It has been described by his eminent associates at 
former meetings, and I would not trust myself to speak of it 



86 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

for fear that my estimate might be colored by that love and 
devotion which he inspired in his children. 

While renewing my thanks to the Society, I wish to express 
my appreciation of the patience and genius of the artist, Mr. 
Carroll Beckwith, who from photographs and descriptions has 
been so successful in representing his subject as he would 
ajjpear at the meetings of this Society. 

I said that Mr. Livermore believed that social meetings 
were essential to the good work of the Society. He was 
willing to avail himself of any proper means to encourage 
them. In June, 1856, it was the odor and the new-made 
reputation of the Cambridge strawberry. This was the first 
meeting of the Society I had the honor of attending, although 
then (in 1856) I was not a Resident Member. Dr. Deane, in 
his remarks at the meeting of the Society following my father's 
death, says that it was the account of this meeting, and of the 
men who were present there, that suggested to Mr. Dowse the 
idea of offering his library to the Society, and I wish to take 
this opportunity to express my gratitude to Mr. Dowse for his 
generosity, which has suggested to this Society the placing of 
this portrait of my father in the spot where of all others he 
would prefer to have it. 

M. Ernest Lavisse, of Paris, France, was elected an Hon- 
orary Member ; Mr. Don Gleason Hill, of Dedham, a Resident 
Member ; and James Schouler, LL.D., of Intervale, New 
Hampshire, a Corresponding Member. 

Rev. Dr. Edmund F. Slafter read the following paper : — 

The Book of Sports. 

After a careful examination of the principal histories of 
England and the histories of the Church of England, I find 
no accurate, exact, and complete statement of what really con- 
stitutes the Book of Sports. 

It will be my purpose in this paper to give a description, as 
clear, definite, and comprehensive as I am able, of this some- 
what remarkable publication. 

In the year 1617 James I. made a visit to his native Scotland. 
A Royal Progress at that time was attended with no little 
circumstance. The king was accompanied by a brilliant and 
imposing cavalcade. The people were gathered in masses at 



1905.] THE BOOK OF SPORTS. 87 

different points to catch a glimpse of their sovereign. Some- 
times petitions were presented asking for special favors or for 
redress of wrongs. On this occasion the laboring class, those 
who worked for their daily bread, petitioned the king, as he 
passed through Lancashire, to grant them liberty for recreation 
on Sundays. Anterior to this, in the reigns of Elizabeth, 
Mary, Edward VI., Henry VIII., and earlier, recreations and 
entertainments on Sunday were common and general through- 
out the kingdom. The Reformation, which had then been in 
progress in England not far from eighty years, brought a 
change of sentiment and practice. The thoughts of men 
under its influence were given less to outward forms and cere- 
monies and more to self-inspection and the workings of the 
mind, the conscience, and the heart. "Know thou thyself" 
might properly be said to be the motto of the English Pro- 
testant. This introversion doubtless sometimes led them into 
errors and excesses. They modelled their conduct and edu- 
cated their consciences with extraordinary strictness after 
the principles of the Jewish theocracy as delineated in the Old 
Testament. There had consequently grown up, in the time* 
of James I., a party in the Church of England called Puri- 
tans ; they were sometimes denominated Precisionists. They 
adopted a standard for their conduct which they regarded as 
absolutely faultless, and they demanded that all others should 
conform to it to the very letter. They were austere and 
intensely intolerant, approaching even to bigotry. They had, 
nevertheless, many shining virtues. They were devout, 
warm-hearted, sincere, spiritually minded, and in fact con- 
stituted the most distinctly religious class at that time in the 
Church of England. They had become numerous and in- 
fluential, and consequently the administration of local affairs 
was almost entirely under their influence and control. 

They especially insisted that the Lord's Day, commonly 
called Sunday, should be observed absolutely according to 
the letter of the fourth commandment in the Jewish decalogue. 
Sheriffs, bailiffs, and justices were eager to arraign delin- 
quents, and infractions of the Mosaic law were sought out and 
promptly punished. 

In answer to the petition of the common people, to which 
we have referred, the class who earned their bread by labor 
six days in the week and had no opportunity for recreation, 



88 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

James I. issued a temporary proclamation to the petitioners in 
Lancashire, and the next year he issued to all his subjects 
throughout the kingdom what he called a "Declaration" 
granting to them under specified conditions the privilege of 
engaging in certain games of recreation and entertainment on 
Sunday. 1 

The class of games or sports thus allowed was limited, and 
none of them could be engaged in on that day unless they 
were similar in character to six distinctly named by the king. 

The first mentioned in the royal manifesto was Dancing, 
in which both men and women participated. It was a very 
simple entertainment, in which the movements of the body 
were determined by precise and exact rules, and was gen- 
erally accompanied and regulated by some kind of music, 
and was therefore necessarily conducted with decorum. 
The possible accessories in the entertainment were almost 
infinite. On great occasions, in royal palaces and baronial 
halls, clad in sumptuous dresses, of rare fabrics, in brilliant 
coloring, none could engage in England, except those who 
belonged to the opulent class, and who could well bear the 
excessive expense of a gaudy, spectacular entertainment. 
But the proclamation of James I. was intended exclusively 
for the laboring class. The dance allowed by the proclamation 
was therefore of the simplest kind, and the plain folk engaged 
in it in their usual Sunday apparel, requiring neither adorn- 
ment nor extra expense. 

The second Sunday entertainment allowed by the proclama- 
tion was Archery. This was practised under two forms, 
the long bow and the cross-bow. The former consisted of 
a rod of elastic wood carefully and delicately bent in a slight 
decree, with a cord attached at each end. This the archer 
drew back, and by the force of the return of the elastic rod 
the arrow was driven with great force, and by the skilful 
with great accuracy. The experienced archer generally as- 
pired to the use of the long bow, as it bore testimony more 
distinctly to his superior attainment in the art. The cross- 

1 Vide The Kings' Majesties Declaration to his Subjects concerning Lawful 
Sports to be Used. Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the King's 
most Excellent Majestey ; and by the Assigns of John Bill. MDCXXXIII. 

This is called a "Book." But it is far from a bulky one. It consists of less 
than three pages of the size of our Proceedings. 






1905.] THE BOOK OF SPORTS. 89 

bow was less difficult in its use. The elastic rod was attached 
to a stock which controlled largely the direction of the arrow. 
It is supposed by some to have been the antitype or forerunner 
of our modern musket. Its use required very little strength, 
and a less degree of skill and experience than the long bow. 
Both were doubtless used in the Sunday games. 

The third specification in the king's proclamation was 
Leaping and Vaulting. These were simple competitive exer- 
cises. The winner in the former made the greatest distance 
on a horizontal line, the latter the greatest altitude without 
regard to distance. This diversion, at once simple and attrac- 
tive, has apparently been common at all times, among all 
classes of people, primitive or modern, civilized or savage. 

The fourth entertainment allowed on Sunday was May 
Games. These were such diversions as were common on the 
first day of May. 1 This day in England, from a very early 
period, was set apart and made a popular and entertaining 
festival. It was emphatically the people's day. The young 
men and the young women went together to the forest, and 
selected a May-pole which was brought home with imposing 
ceremony and planted in a suitable place chosen for the pur- 
pose. It was profusely decorated with garlands of wild- 
flowers and green boughs, and a flag covered over with royal 
emblems was usually seen floating from the top. An old 
writer informs us that this May -pole M being placed in a con- 
venient part of the village stands there, as it were consecrated 
to the Goddess of Flowers, without the least violation being 
offered to it in the whole circle of the year." Around this 
May-pole the common people were permitted by the royal 
proclamation to engage on Sunday in dances or such other 
amusements as were usual on the May-day festival. 

The next privilege granted by the proclamation was the use 
of Whitsun Ales. This was one of the Church ales of three 
hundred years ago. It was customary at that period, more 
or less generally, for the churchwardens to have brewed 
a generous quantity of ale, to be sold at the Whitsun 

1 "In the month of May, the citizens of London of all estates lightly in every 
parish or sometimes in two or three parishes joining together, had their several 
mayings, and did fetch in Maypoles, with divers warlike shows, with good arch- 
ers, morris dancers, and other devices, for pastime all the day long, and toward 
evening they had stage plays and bonfires in the Streets." Vide Stow's Survey 
of London, 1598, ed. 1842, p. 38. 

12 



90 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

festivals, which took place on the week following Whitsun- 
day. The income derived from these sales was appropriated 
to the support and repairs of the church. It was not unlike, 
in principle, to the church fairs or sales organized and con- 
ducted by ladies in many of our parishes at the present 
day. 

The last entertainment on Sunday granted by the king was 
the Morris Dance. This, as the name implies, was a Moorish 
dance, the word Morris being derived from Morisco, signi- 
fying a Moor. It was performed by a single person, and usu- 
ally accompanied by castanets with which the dancer marked 
the time. It was a favorite entertainment among the Moors 
and Spaniards, and in the seventeenth century was exceed- 
ingly popular in England. 

It will be observed that the foregoing games or sports 
allowed on Sunday were all of them athletic in their char- 
acter, and were well suited to develop physical energy and 
muscular strength; and the king himself in his proclamation 
expresses the belief that these exercises would make the 
bodies of the common people " more able for war " whenever 
he or his successors should have occasion to use them. 

In addition to these athletic games the proclamation pro- 
vided that women should be permitted on Sunday to decorate 
the churches with, rushes, agreeably to their ancient custom. 1 

It was the practice in England, long before the Church was 
severed from the dominion of Rome by Henry VIII. , to deco- 
rate the churches on Sundays with rushes, and probably with 
such green boughs and flowers as could be obtained in the 
immediate neighborhood. Harmless, innocent, and appropriate 
as this custom was, the Puritans in the Church of England did 
not give it their approbation. They associated with it a 
secular and worldly element unsuited to the sobriety and 
solemnity of a place of Christian worship. The restoration 

1 The exact words of the Declaration are that " women have Leave to carry 
Eushes to Church for the decorating of it according to their old custom." 

It was customary formerly to " strew floors with rushes," perhaps for orna- 
ment or cleanliness. This was probably what the women were permitted to do 
for the decoration of churches on Sunday. There was a great variety of rushes. 
The Butomus umbellatus bears an umbel of rosy blossoms. From this may have 
come the now almost universal custom of decorating churches with flowers on 
Sundays. In New England the custom is modern. The writer well remembers 
when it was rare and was looked upon by some with disapprobation. 






1905.] THE BOOK OF SPORTS. 91 

of this practice cannot be regarded as a mark of the king's 
want of good taste. 

The preceding enumeration includes the games or enter- 
tainments which were permitted on Sunday, but four others 
were designated in the proclamation which were strictly and 
absolutely forbidden. 

The first two, Bear baiting and Bull baiting, were similar in 
character. Both had been popular in England as early as the 
reign of Henry II., and had been practised down through that 
of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, Elizabeth, James, 1 and in 
fact continued to the time of Queen Anne. Cruelty of a 
brutal character was the leading feature of these exhibitions. 
The harmless animals were first chained and securely fastened, 
and then English bull-dogs, bred and trained for the purpose, 
were set upon them, and large assemblies of men and women 
in the time of James I. took apparent pleasure in witnessing 
the bloody and revolting encounters. But this brutality was 
destined to disappear under a higher state of Christian civiliza- 
tion, and these exhibitions came at length to be attended only 
by the lowest and most degraded class of people, and finally 
were wholly set aside and abandoned. This discreditable and 
abhorrent spectacle under some changes of method may still 
be witnessed in all its essential characteristics in Spain and in 
the southern portion of the American continent, where the 
Spanish race is predominant. 

Interludes were also disallowed by the proclamation. They 
were farcical and secular plays, performed by strolling min- 
strels and jesters, and were obviously unsuited in the king's 
estimation for the sobriety of the Lord's Day. 

The fourth and last entertainment specially debarred by the 
proclamation was Bowling. This was a pastime early and 
long popular in England. 2 It was practised on a level plot of 
grassy ground, denominated the Bowling Green. A small bowl 
or jack was placed at a given distance, and the winner dis- 
placed it, or laid his bowl nearer to it than any other players. 
The details were doubtless different at different periods. The 
bowls were biased, one side being made heavier than the 

1 John Stow, in his Survey of London, 1603, says, " As for the baiting of bulls 
and bears they are to this day much frequented." Vide ed. 1842, p. 36. 

2 For valuable information on the sports common in England at this time, 
vide Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, by Joseph Strutt. 



92 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

other. As it was necessary to allow for the irregular move- 
ment of the bowl, on account of the centre of the weight not 
being identical with the centre of the bowl, great skill and 
long experience were required in the successful bowler. This 
uncertainty offered a temptation for betting and gambling, and 
naturally called together, in the process of time, a dissolute 
and profligate class of persons, and the game itself was brought 
into deserved disrepute. 

Not only were certain entertainments forbidden and en- 
tirely excluded, but there were numerous and important 
limitations and conditions imposed by the king's proclamation. 

First, the sports were to take place at such hours on Sun- 
day as should not interfere with, or be an impediment to 
divine service. 

Second, they were to occur only at the end of all the church 
services of the day in each parish. 

Third, no person was allowed to take part in these Sunday 
entertainments who had not attended the service of the 
church the same day in the parish to which he belonged or 
within whose limits he resided. 

Fourth, no one was permitted to wear or carry any offensive 
weapons at these entertainments. 

Fifth, the officers of the law were strictly enjoined to bring 
to punishment all persons who ventured to abuse in any way 
the liberty granted by the proclamation. 

With these limitations and conditions the king anticipated 
that some important advantages would flow from his proclama- 
tion. He expected that the common people would be encour- 
aged to become Protestants, 1 and that they would no longer 
be tempted to frequent alehouses and tippling-saloons on 
Sundays, and that they would be effectually preserved against 
the demoralizing influence of such resorts. 

We can hardly fail, I think, to obtain from the foregoing 
narrative a clear and distinct idea of what constitutes the 
Book of Sports. The conditions and limitations contained 
in it were so exacting that it is obvious that these Sunday 
exercises, if the Royal directions were observed, were neces- 

1 " In Lancashire the Romanists made advantage of this strictness to pervert 
many to popery, persuading them, that the protestant religion was the school of 
Tyrannus, where no lawful liberty was allowed." Vide Church History of 
Britain, by Thomas Fuller, vol. iii. p. 274, 3d ed. 



1905.] THE BOOK OP SPORTS. 93 

sarily performed with a certain degree of dignity and pro- 
priety, and that they did not in any way interrupt or disturb 
the public peace. 

It is obvious, I think, that James I., conceited, vain of his 
learning, pragmatical, and often unreasonable, nevertheless 
in this case intended to make his Declaration satisfactory to 
all parties. 

The moral question involved in these Sunday sports was, 
of course, what chiefly occupied the public attention. The dis- 
cussion, however, of their ethical bearing does not fall within 
the scope of my present purpose. The subject belongs to 
theology rather than to history, and has been amply treated 
by able and erudite writers in many bulky volumes. 1 

Order was given that the Declaration of the king be pub- 
lished in all the parishes throughout the realm, and the clergy 
were directed to read it in their several churches. It is 
hardly necessary to add that it met with serious and deter- 
mined opposition. The Archbishop of Canterbury forbade 
the reading of it in the parish church at Croydon, where he 
chanced to be when the order was received. His opposition 
to the Sunday sports doubtless modified and shaped the views 
of many of the clergy. The reading of the Declaration or 
the Book of Sports to their congregations, as required by the 
royal command, was especially distasteful and repulsive to 
those who favored a strict religious observance of the Lord's 
Day. 2 The objections offered were reasonable and conclusive, 
and the king found it good policy, under the circumstances, 
not to force the reading of his proclamation, and it was appar- 
ently not read to any great extent during the administration 
of Archbishop Abbot, which was terminated by his death, on 
August 4, 1633. Two days afterward William Laud, then 
Bishop of London, was elevated by Charles I. to the office of 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 

He was a man of a different mould from his wiser and more 
discreet predecessor. He had a hard nature, into which ten- 

1 Vide a summary on this subject in Church History of Britain, by Thomas 
Fuller, vol. iii. pp. 373-375. Likewise vide History of the Church of England 
by the Rev. George G. Perry, vol. i. p. 260. 

2 "Many moderate men are of opinion, that this abuse of the Lord's day was 
a principal procurer of God's anger, since poured-out on this land in a long and 
bloody civil war." Vide Church History of Britain, by Thomas Fuller, vol. iii. 
p. 378, 3d ed. 



94 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

derness never entered. He took pleasure in the sufferings of 
the criminal, and to him no punishment ever seemed too 
severe. 1 He was a man of learning, of great ability, of ex- 
traordinary energy of purpose, highly conscientious, and in 
some ways advanced the interests of the Church of England, 
to which he was thoroughly loyal. 

But nevertheless he was inconsiderate, irascible, narrow- 
minded, and despotic, and meddled too freely with political 
affairs which were outside and beyond the domain of his 
official duties. 

His methods were heroic. He made, haste in his high 
office. In less than three months he had not only adjusted 
himself to his responsible duties, but had found time to per- 
suade the king to renew the privilege of Sunday sports. On 
October 18, 1633, the Declaration of James was ratified by 
Charles I., with the addition of the Feasts of the Dedication 
of Churches. 2 Order was at once given by Archbishop Laud 
to all the bishops that the king's proclamation or Book of 
Sports be read in all the parish churches throughout the 
kingdom. Provision was made that the order be strictly en- 
forced. 3 By no subterfuge could it be evaded. The church- 
wardens of each parish were required to make oath that it 
had been read in their church, and the minister or incumbent 
was also required to certify in writing to the same effect. 

It is not easy to determine to what extent the order to read 
the Book of Sports in the parish churches was carried out. It 
is highly probable that the order was generally obeyed. The 
clergy who complied, retained their places and stipends; those 
who refused, for the most part lost their office and their living. 

1 " In the Star Chamber ... he was observed always to concur with the 
severest side and to infuse more vinegar than oil into his censures." Vide 
Church History of Britain, by Thomas Fuller, vol. iii. p. 472 et passim. For 
a complete view of the character of Archbishop Laud, vide likewise "Appeal 
of Injured Innocence," by the same, London, 1840, p. 641 et passim. 

2 " This declaration . . . was not well received and gave to the people a 
further disgust at the administration ; and some of the clergy who scrupled the 
reading of it in their churches were suspended by their ordinaries, and prose- 
cuted in the High Commission." Collier's Ecclesiastical History, vol. viii. p. 77, 
ed. London, 1841. 

3 Whoever has carefully read the preceding narrative will probably accept 
neither the opinion of the Puritan with his Mosaic Sunday, nor that of Arch- 
bishop Laud with his Sunday sports. The true course doubtless lies some- 
where between the two. Medio tutissimus ibis is often as sound in morals as it 
is safe amid the rocks and whirlpools of a dangerous sea. 



1905.] STUDY OF THE NEGRO IN AMERICA. 95 

The reading to many was distasteful and repulsive ; but it 
was not a crime, and doubtless some of them chose the lesser 
of the two evils. 

The Revolution in England which terminated in the over- 
throw of the government was now in actual progress. The 
royal cause was daily losing ground. The Parliament had al- 
ready come into absolute control. The Archbishop of Canter- 
bury had made himself exceedingly unpopular. 1 His aggressive 
disposition and measures, his support of the king's unlimited 
prerogative, and his unwonted claims in his own office had 
become intolerable. The Parliament apparently thought it 
time to put an extinguisher upon the zeal and activity of both 
the archbishop and the king touching Sunday sports, and to 
bring this troublesome matter to a speedy determination. 

Accordingly, on the fifth day of May, 1643, an order came 
forth from the Parliament in the following words: — 

" That the Book for tolerating of Sports on the Lord's day be burnt by 
the common Hangman ; and that the Sheriff of London assist in execut- 
ing this order, to whom, all, who have any of them, are to deliver them. 2 

Henceforth English history on this subject is necessarily 
silent. The story has been told, and a bonfire in the streets 
of London completed the eventful and melancholy history of 
the Book of Sports. 3 

For twenty-five years it had been a source of irritation and 
discomfort to many, and had yielded to few either pleasure or 
satisfaction. 

G. Stanley Hall, LL.D., read a paper on the Negro 
Question as follows : — 

A Few Results of Recent Scientific Study of the Negro 
in America. 

Shaler estimates that about half a million Africans have 
been imported into this country. No other race ever came 
here without its own consent. Slavery always involves more 

1 His unpopularity was marked by numerous anonymous letters, and abusive 
censures posted on or near his residence. Vide Laud's Diary. 

2 Vide Rushworth's Historical Collections, ed. 1708, vol. v. p. 107. 

3 There was no fixed locality in London for burning obnoxious books, but it 
often took place in Cheapside and in Smithfield. Great numbers were at different 
times subject to this fate. Eleven or twelve hundred objectionable books of de- 
votion were seized and publicly burnt by order of Archbishop Laud in Smithfield 
in 1637. 



96 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

or less artificial selection. Those chosen in Africa were 
usually the best available. Slave traders not only rejected 
the deformed, old, sick, weakly, but often took great pains 
to select in both sexes those who were young, large, hand- 
some, and vigorous. In Felt's " Salem " (quoted by George 
H. Moore in his " Notes on the History of Slavery in Massa- 
chusetts," 1866) elaborate instructions are given to the cap- 
tain of a slave craft bound to Africa to bring home a slave 
cargo, directing him to select strong and young persons, 
whether they were captured or bought with rum, and enjoin- 
ing great care of their health on the homeward voyage. This 
selection of the best, which Dr. Thomson estimates has within 
Christian centuries robbed Africa of twenty million of the 
flower of its youth, has contributed, as Lecky thinks the 
celibacy of the best did in the early Christian centuries to 
the dark ages, to check the indigenous development of Africa. 
It has also helped to make the average Southern pure-blood 
negro distinctly above his ethnic congeners in the Dark Conti- 
nent in stature and vigor if not in intelligence. Although the 
pure-blooded negroes of all tribes are unusually homogeneous, 
and show general uniformity in the sharpness and definiteness 
of their ethnic type over most of equatorial Africa (chiefs dif- 
fering comparatively little from the slaves there), the Southern 
negro, nevertheless, owes much to this selection. This or the 
regimen of slavery, or both, have given him on the whole 
greater weight and muscular development and increased regu- 
larity in eating, sleeping, and exercise. Slavery, at any rate, 
found the negro a savage and left him a trained laborer, and, 
as was for the interests of the master, in good physical 
condition. 

One of the best evidences of this is found in the statistics of 
fecundity before and since emancipation. Between 1800 and 
1900 the colored population of this country increased from 
1,002,000 to 8,840,000, or well-nigh nine-fold. This increase 
was chiefly indigenous, because the slave trade ended in 1808. 
At this rate of increase, in the year 2000 A. D. the negroes will 
number nearly seventy-five million, or, on a different basis, 
according to Patterson's figures, in 1960 they will number 
forty-three million, or will equal the total white population of 
the country in 1880. Their rate of increase suffered marked 
diminution during the war, but is now slowly approaching the 



1905.] STUDY OF THE NEGRO IN AMERICA. 97 

rate (probably the greatest the race has ever seen) which it 
had during slavery. Reproductivity is still greater than these 
figures would indicate ; for in those States and cities where 
statistics of death are available (for instance in Louisiana) the 
mortality of the negro is greater than that of the whites at 
every age and greatest of all under five. This is due in part 
to early marriages and to loose sex relations. Few races, save 
the Celts, Russians, and Jews, are multiplying so fast. Their 
increase is markedly in excess of that of the Southern whites, 
which is high, and still greater than that of the Northern 
native whites, and greater than the increase of our total popu- 
lation exclusive of immigration. A race that can double three 
times in a century has a future. The negro's fecundity in the 
South is distinctly greater than in the North, he is more fertile 
in the country in the South than in its cities, and it is just 
here that he follows the great racial law of migrations, namely,, 
of gravitating toward those territories where he multiplies 
fastest. So, conversely, negroes are attracted least toward 
those sections of the country where their rate of increase is 
least. As all schemes of deportation are more and more 
recognized as impracticable, the problems of this race here for 
an indefinitely long period are likely to grow every year in 
complexity and in practical importance. This increase, it must 
be borne in mind, is despite the very high mortality rates, and 
every change that decreases this means a more rapid increase 
in the colored population ; this increase, not only absolutely 
but relatively, is sure to be far greater in the warm South, 
where the negro is at home, than in the North. 

In history no two races, taken as a whole, differ so much in 
their traits, both physical and psychic, as the Caucasian and 
the African. The color of the skin and the crookedness of 
the hair are only the outward signs of many far deeper dif- 
ferences, including cranial and thoracic capacity, proportions 
of body, nervous system, glands and secretions, vita sexualis, 
food, temperament, disposition, character, longevity, instincts, 
customs, emotional traits, and diseases. All these differences, 
as they are coming to be better understood, are seen to be so 
great as to qualify if not imperil every inference from one race 
to another, whether theoretical or practical, so that what is 
true and good for one is often false and bad for the other. 
Many of these differences were naturally far better understood 

13 



98 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

by both races in the days of slavery and in the South than 
ever in the North or anywhere now ; the emancipation de- 
stroyed much of the interest of slave owners in their chat- 
tels, so that intimate knowledge of the blacks by the whites 
in the South has in many respects steadily declined since the 
war. This is a faint biological analogue of what would occur 
if the best breeds of cattle should break up their domestica- 
tion and return to the feral state ; for then man's knowledge 
of the laws of their breeding and care would lapse, as natural 
selection assumed the place of artificial. On the other hand, 
during this period a new scientific study of the negro has 
arisen, and is fast developing established results which are 
slowly placing the problems of the future of this race upon a 
more solid and intelligent basis, and which seem destined 
sooner or later to condition philanthropy and legislation, make 
sentiment more intelligent, and take the problem out of the 
hands of politicians, sentimentalists, or theorists, and place 
it where it belongs, — with economists, anthropologists, and 
sociologists. 

To select the single question of health from many of the 
racial differences above enumerated, we find, in compiling 
many medical studies of the blacks, that their diseases are 
very different from ours. Their liability to consumption is 
estimated at from one and a half to three and a half times 
that of the whites. This is only partly due to their trans- 
portation from equatorial Africa, because there they are 
peculiarly prone to tuberculosis, and measurements show less 
average lung capacity than is found in the whites. Very 
striking is their immunity from malaria and yellow fever, which 
shows a different composition of the blood and which enables 
them to work in so many places where the whites cannot. 
They have extraordinary power to survive both wounds and 
grave surgical operations, with less liability during convales- 
cence to reactions of fever and other complications. There is 
less suppuration, better and quite different granulation and 
scarification. Their lymphatic glands are more developed 
and more effective in filtering out bacteria, so that to most 
infections they are more antiseptic ; and the specific energy of 
their serum, bile, and phagocytes against toxines is different 
from that of whites. Cancer, especially of the worst or car- 
cinomous kind, is very rare, as are varicocele, enlarged pro- 



1905.] STUDY OF THE NEGRO IN AMERICA. 99 

state, stone in gall and bladder, and ovarian tumor. They are 
far more exempt from congenital deformities, whether those 
due to arrest or perverted growth, so that humpback, club 
foot, harelip, spina bifida, are unusual. There is more syphilis, 
but it less often results in tabes ; more passion for alcohol and 
more consequent congestion of the liver, but less pure alco- 
holism. There is less insanity, mental defect oftener takes 
the form of idiocy, and all acute psychoses like mania issue 
sooner in imbecility. Epilepsy is far more common, and 
is connected with their general erethism. They are naturally 
cheerful, and so very rarely suffer from melancholia or commit 
suicide. The strange sleeping sickness they have practically 
all to themselves. Tetanus is common, chorea rare. General 
paralysis or softening of the brain, said never to have occurred 
in slavery although now sometimes found, usually lacks, when 
it does occur, the characteristic stage of delusions of greatness, 
perhaps owing to their humble position. Many eye troubles 
are infrequent, and various other differences have been noted. 
Now these distinctions involve profound diversities of con- 
stitution and diathesis. All their diseases have a different 
prognosis and require modifications of treatment, so that the 
training of physicians for the two races needs differentiation. 
Immune to many conditions morbific for Caucasians, they are 
very susceptible to others harmless for whites. In tropical 
Africa men and women are extremely fond of bathing, which 
their very active skin needs ; but this disposition decreases 
almost exactly as clothing increases, and as the negro goes 
North is often changed into exceptional aversion to the bath 
which is suggestive for cooks and nurses. Of course mixture 
of blood with the whites brings approximation to the patho- 
logical conditions of the latter. Many of these differences are 
so radical that a Southern physician has said in substance, 
perhaps somewhat extremely, that a successful experience in 
treating one race impaired a phj^sician's usefulness with the 
other, and made two hygienes and two regimens necessary, — 
as different as the application of veterinary medicine for horses 
is from that applied to oxen. 

The chief event in the history of the Southern negro in the 
new world is the infiltration of white blood. But for this the 
negro in mind and body would be so distinct from us that all 
our problems connected with the race would be vastly simpli- 



100 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

fied. Just how far he has lost his rare racial homogeneity here, 
it is impossible to tell. The extreme minimal estimate that I 
have found is that one-tenth have some white blood, and one 
maximal estimate is that two-thirds are partly white. Page 
thinks that from one-ninth to one-sixth are mixed. Du Bois 
says that two million negroes here have some white blood. 
Most estimates range somewhere between one-fifth and one- 
half. The diversity in the estimates of this proportion shows 
the difficulties that beset this study. Indeed, this question has 
itself become a part of the race problem ; negroes and their 
friends always making the proportion large, and Southern whites 
regarding it as small. The negro himself has an hereditary 
disregard for heredity and keeps no pedigrees. Where crosses 
with white blood occur they are, of course, extramarital, and 
the mulatto's sentiments upon this subject are a strange mix- 
ture of pride and shame, while his or her white father has yet 
stronger motives for concealment. Thus cousins of different 
racial complexion and even half brothers and sisters some- 
times go through life without suspecting their relationship. 
Scientific investigation here is usually highly resented. Many 
blacks and even whites hold that pale skins are sometimes pro- 
duced spontaneously from black parents, — which is, of course, 
impossible, negro albinos being very rare. Moreover, the 
grade of pigmentation is not a sure index of the degree of 
miscegenation, and in the veins of some thought purely African 
probably flows at least a little of the best white blood of the 
land. The most serious aspect of the negro question, thus, is 
found in the fact that the most important portion of the race, 
whatever its size, inherits more or less of the best Anglo- 
Saxon cavalier blood, brain, and temper. Thus all the vast 
psycho-physic differences between the two races are bridged, 
and they possibly fuse with each other by all imperceptible 
gradations. We know too little of the laws of heredity to 
evaluate the profit and loss of this blood mixture. It has cer- 
tainly given us some of the leaders of their race in this coun- 
try ; and when we think of the Dumases, Pushkin, and many 
others, we see that it certainly can produce an occasional genius. 
There is much reason to think that mixture has played an 
important r61e in history, and that most of the great races are 
the result of the commingling of different ethnic stocks. Not 
a few (like, for instance, the Scotch-Irish) have been superior 



1905.] STUDY OF THE NEGRO IN AMERICA. 101 

to either parent stirp. Some have held, from a study of mis- 
cegenation in other lands, that sons oftener inherit from their 
mother and daughters from their father. If this be so, it follows 
that here, where the crossing is practically all of white fathers 
and dark mothers, the daughters would be more Caucasian than 
the sons. At any rate, men like Fred Douglas, Bishop Payne, 
Booker Washington, Da Bois, Chesnut, Tanner, Dunbar, 
Thomas, and scores of others, are not typical negroes. Says 
H. S. Dickerman, u There are full-blooded negroes of ability, 
but a very large proportion of those one sees in places of re- 
sponsibility and honor among negroes are of mixed race. It 
is so with teachers, ministers, and physicians. In many of 
the most celebrated schools a large part of the pupils are 
very light, and in the cities one finds congregations in some 
of the more aristocratic churches in which nearly all are* 
mulattoes." 

Whatever the biological laws may be, they are, however, 
here obscured and rendered ineffective by social prejudice 
which draws a color line and ostracizes not only quadroons 
and octoroons, but those with one-sixteenth, one thirty-sec- 
ond, and$ Booker Washington says, one one-hundredth negro 
blood, even though it be so attenuated as to leave no sign dis- 
cernible save by scrutiny of hair, nails, etc., and condemns 
mulattoes of whatever degree to association with those whose 
pure Hamitic blood has known no dash or strain of white. It 
is this that has intensified racial solidarity and helps to make 
every question in the South tend to become a race question, 
and often now divides Southern towns and cities by a color 
line so drawn that instead of the best whites seeing most of 
the best mulattoes, the former prefer contact with the pure 
blacks, and race friction is between the lower whites and the 
mulattoes. Whether the mulattoes are better or worse than 
either parent race, prejudice, not only in our own, but in 
every land where the races coexist, has made it impossible to 
tell. While there are some pure Africans born with gifts far 
above the average of their race, most of its leaders are those 
who have by heredity, association, or both, derived most from 
the whites. It is their aspirations, discontent, struggles, end- 
ing often in discouragement, which makes them either sink to 
vice or grow revengeful and desperate, that constitute the 
pathos of the present condition, and make it hardest for the 



102 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

men to preserve their hope and just ambition, and for the women 
to keep their virtue in the presence of the whites. A recent 
writer says, u Ninety-nine per cent of the whites regard all 
with any negro blood as about alike." It is idle to censure 
a state of things universal where a higher and lower race 
come into close contact ; but when the South boasts of its 
magnanimity in aiding negro education or threatens to with- 
draw support and sympathy, leaving colored schools to be 
sustained by negro taxation alone, then, and then only, this 
consideration may be allowed to be not impertinent, and we 
may even recall Plato, who would have all parents abandon 
their children in tender years to the care of the state in order 
that the parental instinct and responsibility might be diffused 
and all fathers and mothers regard every child they met of 
similar age as perhaps their own. 

Another racial trait of the negro is found in the sphere of 
sexual development. Special studies show that the negro child 
up to about twelve is quite as bright as the white child ; but 
when this instinct develops it is earlier, more sudden, and far 
more likely permanently to retard mental and moral growth, 
than in the white, who shoots ahead. Thus the virtues and de- 
fects of the negro through life remain largely those of puberty. 
Hence his diathesis, both psychic and physical, is erethic, 
volatile, changeable, prone to trancoidal, intensely emotional, 
and even epileptoid states. W. EL Thomas, himself a negro, 
in his book entitled " The American Negro," says, " The chief 
and overpowering element in his make-up is an imperious 
sexual impulse, which, aroused at the slightest incentive, 
sweeps aside all restraint." This he deems the chief cause 
of the arrest of the higher development of this tropical race. 
During slavery regular hard work, temperance, awe of his 
white master, were potent restraints, and he was often a faith- 
ful guardian of the unprotected women of the household, 
whose head was in the army. Now idleness, drink, and a 
new sense of equality have destroyed these restraints of im- 
perious lust, which in some cases is reinforced by the thought 
of generations of abuse of his own women by white men upon 
whom he would turn the tables. At any rate, the number, 
boldness, and barbarity of the rapists, and the frequency of the 
murder of their victims have increased, till whites in many parts 
of the South have told me that no woman of their race is 



1905.] STUDY OF THE NEGRO IN AMERICA. 103 

safe anywhere alone day or night. Of the 3,008 lynchings in 
this country daring the twenty years ending with the close of 
1904, a clear majority are connected with murder or with this 
crime so often associated with it ; although Governor Var- 
deman's statistics for Louisiana showed that of over three 
hundred murders in that State in 1903, the great majority were 
of negroes by negroes, and the most common cause was quar- 
rels arising over the game of crap. There has also been a 
gradual increase in the barbarity of this punishment for rape, 
slightly known before the war. The brutality of these as- 
saults is often such that the most staid communities and 
heads of families, who have strongly and publicly denounced 
lynching, find themselves swept away in a frenzy of vengeance. 
When such a crime comes home to one's own wife, daughter, 
or mother, none of us know what we should do. As a preven- 
tative of crime, lynching has something to be said for it, but 
more to be said against it. This wild justice is brutalizing upon 
those who inflict it, who are usually young men and boys. Some 
drastic cures have been suggested, — a drumhead court-mar- 
tial with immediate execution of the guilty, emasculation, 
instant trial, and abolishment of appeal, and even the legal- 
ization of burning at the stake. These suggestions show at least 
how desperate is the resolution in the white South that this 
crime must be checked at whatever cost. One typical aggra- 
vation of the evil is illustrated in a certain Southern district 
known to the writer, where the youngest and most briefless 
and inexperienced lawyer is by an old custom elected prosecut- 
ing attorney. He can receive five dollars for trying each case. 
His inexperience naturally often causes errors that give ground 
for appeals and delays. The chief need is that the leading 
negroes should speak out more strongly against this crime 
than they do, and no longer give cause to writers like Mr. 
Page to insist that the race as a whole covertly sympathizes 
a little with every black victim of a mob, no matter how atro- 
cious his crime, and perhaps with every black criminal. They 
should feel their own responsibility, and co-operate with the 
law in enforcing justice and teaching their race not to palliate 
crime or even shield criminal members of it. The negro's 
sense of the enormity of the crime of ravishing does certainly 
seem to differ somewhat from that of the whites. If negroes 
were listed and all the vagrants kept track of, as in Germany, 



104 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Feb. 



if officers had power to summon posses, or if sheriffs gave 
bonds to be forfeited if they lost their prisoner, or negro offi- 
cers were given interest in the punishment of criminals of 
their own race, some help might be found. In a paper of this 
kind of course only a very few of the points involved can be 
touched on. 1 

After the war the majority at the North sanctioned the 
policy of giving the negro the ballot, which Lincoln dis- 
approved and which had been persistently refused him in 
many Northern States. It was given, if not as a penalizing 
measure to those lately in rebellion, at least as a weapon to 
safeguard the freedom of these new wards of the nation. 
Then followed the eight years beginning with 1867, so tragic 
for the South, — involving enormous waste and confusion, an 
indebtedness equalling the entire cost of the war plus the value 
of the slaves as property, negroizing more or less one-third 
of the States of the Union until they seemed to be on 
the downward path toward conditions like those of Hayti, 
San Domingo, or Porto Rico. Whatever allegiance and 
friendship the negroes had felt for their old masters was 
transferred to their new Northern allies. For myself, an 
abolitionist both by conviction and descent, I wish to con- 
fess my error of opinion in those days ; and I believe that 
all candid minds who, in Kelley Miller's trenchant phrase, 
study rather than discuss the problem, and are not too old 
to learn, are ready to confess mistakes. Even the Freedman's 
Bureau helped make the colored man at the South feel de- 
pendent upon the North rather than upon his own efforts. 
Much as the new South has done to outgrow these evils, 
perhaps the worst effect of all these years is now seen in 
the fact that Southern negroes are a solidified party arrayed 
against their old masters on all questions, and cannot divide 
freely among themselves even on local and economic prob- 
lems, or follow their own interests, but the party and color 
line still coincide. 

Before the war the negro was often a skilled laborer. 
Nearly all the agriculture of the South and most occupations 
pertaining to food, clothing, and shelter were in his hands. 
The old plantation was an industrial school, not entirely 
without analogies to the old New England farm which has 
1 See the Atlanta studies. 



1905.] STUDY OF THE NEGRO IN AMERICA. 105 

trained so many of its best citizens. When freedom came 
it was naturally interpreted as freedom not to work, and so 
came the an rebours days of misery where so many Southern 
novelists and essayists are finding rich fields for literary 
exploitation. 

At this point of Southern despair came one of those masterly 
pieces of statecraft in the last century — masterly because so 
simple — in the policy of Booker Washington. Let our race, he 
said, be as separate socially and politically from the whites as 
the ten fingers, though industrially as united with them as the 
fingers are united in the hand. Under the reconstruction era, 
he says that the chief desire of all bright young negroes was to 
hold office and to study Latin, and he declares that it is 
against these two desires that the efforts of his life are 
directed. More than a score of simple industries are taught. 
About these nearly all book learning is made to centre. 
Instead of the one-crop S} T stem he would have at least half 
a dozen. He teaches women to work in the field and garden, 
as they do at Swansley, England ; establishes penny banks ; 
teaches the men to work in wood, iron, lead, and leather, to raise 
poultry, cattle, pigs, mules, to build houses, make clothes, and, 
in short, to resume in freedom the control of the industries 
they had in slavery. His people resisted, for even industrial 
education suggested to them a return to slavery. Along 
these lines also he conducts summer conferences which at- 
tract negro farmers from every State in the South, and makes 
slow but effective headway against the extortions of tradesmen 
who thrive on the negroes' improvidence and credulity and 
those who sell on the instalment plan or advance money on 
crops yet to be gathered, levy extortionate rents, etc. Under 
this policy the negro waives for the present the right of 
suffrage and office-holding for the ignorant, or at least wel- 
comes an educational qualification. For myself, I doubt if 
any educational institution in the world's history ever showed 
in those who attend from year to year greater progress along 
so many lines, — dress, manners, intelligence, morals, health, — 
than is seen in the pupils of Tuskegee. Thousands of schools 
of lower grade are being permeated by this influence, and the 
negro is winning recognition, and, what is quite as important, 
is content to do so on -his merits. The only modification of 
Mr. Washington's programme that seems needed is that which 

14 



106 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

Professor Du Bois pleads for, namely, opportunity for all the 
higher cultural elements of education to every negro who can 
take it and make use of it. The only shadow that clouds 
his future now is the danger, happily diminishing, of the 
interference of Congressmen of the Crumpacker type with 
the existing state of things, — confessedly tentative and pro- 
visional, grandfather clause and all, — and the growing danger 
of an influx of white labor and of trade unions, most of which 
exclude negroes. Their ascendency in the South would make 
wreckage of all the now promising solutions of these vastest 
of all our internal problems. Under this programme the negro 
will prefer the country to the city, the South to the North, and 
will slowly develop his full rights on an industrial economic 
basis, for money and business know no color line. 

The course marked out by prudence and common sense 
would therefore seem to be that the negro should now 
address himself to the solution of his own problems, carry 
on the work of studying his race so well begun at Atlanta 
under Professor Du Bois, and make his own social life as he 
has made the life of his church (which is its chief centre, and 
also its most characteristic expression, to which nearly every 
negro belongs at some time during his life), and recognize that 
his race has gifts that others lack, — such as an intense and large 
emotional life, an exquisite sensitiveness to nature, gifts in the 
field of music and oratory, a peculiar depth of religious life 
(connected in part with the sense of dependence, which is 
its psychic root), a strong belief in invisible powers, a certain 
sense of fate (which in Africa predisposes the natives to 
Mohammedanism, which is said to be growing as fast as any 
religion ever spread and which some think a kind of next 
step above fetichism), rare good humor, jollity, patience, etc. 
An African museum has been suggested in which should 
be gathered the folk-lore and records of tribal customs (which a 
parliamentary commission in Africa has just, found to be very 
elaborate, and in many respects better for the natives than 
English law, and of which many traces survive here), the 
anthropological literature upon the race here and elsewhere, 
and mementoes of Hamitic culture generally. Some have 
suggested a special permanent commission of those most 
competent and interested, white and black, to be consulted 
both by philanthropists and legislators. One of the most 
hopeful facts in the situation is that there are now for the 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 107 

first time such experts. Their knowledge certainly ought to 
be utilized. This we have notoriously failed to do in the case 
of the Indian. There seems a water-tight compartment in 
Washington between the Indian Bureau presiding over the 
material interests of the red man and the Ethnological Bureau 
devoted to his study. Even the Mohonk Conference has 
never, I am told, with one exception, heard the voice of one of 
these specialists who best know the facts upon which all 
our Indian policy should be based. Let no such mistakes be 
made concerning the negro. He has capacities for friendship, 
loyalty, patriotism, piety, and industry in regions where white 
men cannot work, which in some respects perhaps exceed ours 
and which the country sorely needs. If he can only be made 
to accept without whining patheticism and corroding self-pity 
his present situation, prejudice and' all, hard as it is, take his 
stand squarely upon the fact of his race, respect its unique 
gifts, develop all its capacities, make himself the best pos- 
sible black man and not desire to be a brunette imitation 
of the Caucasian, he will in coming generations fill a place of 
great importance, and of pride both to himself and to us, in the 
future of the republic. The chief fact in the present situation 
is the at last rapidly growing tendency to commit the problems 
of his race more and more into the hands of its own members. 
If this is done gradually and wisely enough, and if the pres- 
ent promise of leaders within the race is fulfilled, all may yet 
come out best for both races in the end. 

Mr. Gamaliel Bradford spoke extemporaneously on 
" Reconstruction and the Negro Question," and on the evils 
resulting from the usurpation of power by legislative as- 
semblies, and was followed by Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn 
with some remarks on the principal topic. 

Mr. Charles C. Smith communicated for Mr. Worthington 
C. Ford, of Washington, a Corresponding Member, a large 
number of unpublished letters from Edmund Pendleton to 
James Madison, written between 1765 and 1781. 

Unpublished Letters of Edmund Pendleton. 

Edmund Pendleton, of Virginia, is one of those characters 
who have come down in history quite as much by reflected 
glory as by their own merit and capability. A correspondent of 



108 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, an active member of the 
House of Burgesses, a delegate to the first and second Conti- 
nental Congresses, and a warm patriot, he ranks among the 
first of the Revolutionary worthies that Virginia produced. He 
is best known for having drawn an early will of Washington, 
when the latter became commander-in-chief of the Continental 
Congress, and the speech of acceptance of that trust when 
Washington had determined to take up the grave responsibilities 
it involved. An even greater reputation came to Pendleton 
through the letters he received from Madison while the new 
Constitution of the United States was being weighed and judged 
by the States. The following letters represent a part of a series 
of Pendleton's letters, once in the possession of Payne Todd, 
the son of Mrs. Madison, and later in that of Mr. Frederick B. 
McGuire, of Washington, D. C, through whose courtesy I was 
permitted to make copies. The present location of these manu- 
scripts is unknown to me, but they must constitute the largest 
single lot of Pendleton letters known. Unfortunately the 
copies end with 1782, and after some fifteen years I am unable 
to recall whether that is the actual termination of the series 
or whether the copying was interrupted by a change of ad- 
ministration. They will form a complement to the letters of 
Joseph Jones, printed in our Proceedings, second series, vol. 
xv. pp. 116-161. 

PENDLETON TO MADISON. 

April 17, 1765. 

Dear Sir, — I received your favor by Mr. Bell and shall as I see the 
gentlemen call on them for their proportions of the money decreed you, 
and let them know you are ready to sign deeds ; I have not yet seen 
them ; the success of my application you shall know. 

The last tax that we laid was an additional 1/ and Poll (to 4/ taxed 
before) for five years 1765 to 1769 inclusive; we had then some ex- 
pectation of money from England, and in the law directed the Treas- 
urer for every 5000£ he received to stop the 1/ for a year. He 
received 20,000£ so that one year only of the 1/ was to be collected, and 
that I had heard him say should be this year. Upon the strength of 
which I wrote Mr. Taylor, and informed others that the tax was of this 
year, but since that the Treasurer has advertised it to be 4/ only, I 
suppose he has postponed the collection of the 1 / on account of the 
heavy levy this year. The House of Commons have resolved and 
ordered in a Bill to establish a stamp duty, by which every kind of 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 109 

business transacted on paper is taxed, supposed to amount to £50,000 
sterling a year on this colony. Poor America ! 

Edm d Pendleton. 

December 11, 1765. 1 
. . . Our distributor of stamps having resigned, great part of 
the business of this Colony must stop and some Courts decline to sit 
altogether, but I don't think that prudent. As the appearance of 
courts may convince the people that there is not a total end of laws 
tho' they are disabled to act in some instances, I think they should be 
held for that purpose and as many things done as can be without stamps, 
particularly wills, which may be proved and ordered to be recorded, 
tho' they can't be recorded nor any order made for the appraisement. 
Administrations can't be granted because the Bond can't be taken. 
Grand jurys may be sworn and all proceedings had on their present- 
ments and on all criminal matters or breaches of the peace. Justices 
may issue and trie any warrants or Att as relative to themselves, but not 
att as returnable to Court. ... 

Edm d Pendleton. 

February 15, 1706. 

Dear Sir, — I received yours of the 3 d by Mr. Taylor, and will 
answer the several parts of it in due order. I wish I could begin with 
sending your money by her, but the circulation of money seems as 
effectually stopt at present as any business affected by the stamps ; I 
hope it may be better in the spring and as soon as 'tis in my power you 
shall have it. 

I don't recollect what particulars I wrote you before might be done 
without stamps, by Courts or single magistrates, so as to add any that 
may have occurred since, and can only give my opinion in the points 
you mentioned. As marriage licences are not required to be upon 
stamped paper, there can be no sort of difficulty in your signing them, 
when issued by the clerk, as you are not supposed to know that the 
Bond is, or is not taken on stampt paper. Whether the clerk can safely 
grant them is a question on which there are variety of opinions, as all 
Bonds in general words are subjected to this tax. But as the licence 
which is the Principal is exempted, and the Bond an accessory or inci- 
dent to it, I am of opinion it is not taxable under the general term of 
bonds, and that the clerk may safely grant them in the usual manner. 
The swearing a person to an account or to prove his property and cer- 
tifying it, is expressly within the law and can't be proceeded in, until 
all other business is, which the courts this way talk of reviving, and 
indeed Stafford Court I hear began this month. 

This should be Nov. [Note by Madison.] 



110 - MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

Mr. Beverley's land ought to be sold subject to the leases (or even 
fair contracts for leases) he had made to his tenants, who must hold 
the lands for their terms, subject to the conditions in the Leases, and 
the rent after sale to be paid to the purchaser, all person's rights being 
saved in the act, but those claiming under the intail ; the Leases with- 
out recording are binding between the partys and purchasers who have 
notice of them, and 't will be well for the Trustees to give notice at the 
time of sale what tenants are on each lot. 

There can be no manner of doubt but that George Roebuck has a 
good title to Hannah, the daughter of Frank, if he is not barred by the 
act of limitation and 5 years' quiet possession without any disability to 
sue on his part at the time his title commenced, which was his step 
mother's death. How came Hannah was not delivered with the others ? 
Was it at that time George demanded her and Harcomb refused to 
deliver her? Was he ignorant of her, or did he consent that Harcomb 
should keep her at that time and afterwards demand her and when was 
the others delivered ? As soon as I am informed as to these particulars I 
can then advise whether the act of limitation will bar him, and will 
issue the writ or not as I shall find prudent on that point. 

I have not seen John Thilman since I received yours, nor had I be- 
fore heard him mention his undertaking your church. If I can see him, 
will endeavor to find out his intention and communicate it to you. In 
the meantime I think you should call on him to sign the articles and a 
bond with security (which I suppose he was to give) and demand of 
him to execute them, and then if he refuses, you may immediately let 
the work to another, and either sue him for any damage the Parish 
shall sustain by his refusal, if 'tis worth while, or drop him altogether. 
When I see my friend M5 Hubbard, I will communicate to him what 
you desire as to the success of his subscription ; the appology is so just 
and I am afraid the cause so general, that I make no doubt he has 
before received the same account often, as his papers have been circu- 
lated all over the Colony : all who know the family must assent to the 
justice of your observation (Inter nos), and some have unjustly indeed 
added others very ill-natured and such as his overreaching in trade to 
support his extravagance, but this was cruel and more so, as I ever 
thought and still believe him honest. 

The Country appear divided, and I am perplexed myself what is best 
to determine as to opening our Courts of Justice immediately or not. 
The stopping them hitherto, I always approved of as a good temporary 
expedient that in the winter season was not very prejudicial, & at the 
same time seemed to answer two probably good purposes in avoiding a 
fresh provocation to the Parliament, and engaging the interest of the 
British merchants towards a repeal. Those ends being answered, there 
appears no reason to continue the means, for our fate as to that must 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. Ill 

be determined in Parliament before they could hear from hence. Why 
should we not then proceed? If the act is repealed, all business trans- 
acted without stamps is good of course. If not repealed, what do we 
determine to do? It appears to me we must resolve either to admit 
the stamps or to proceed without them, for to stop all business must be 
a greater evil than either. And who is there that will agree to ad- 
mit them ? Not one in 1000, I believe. For my own part I never 
have or will enter into noisy and riotous companys on the subjects, 
my sentiments I shall be always ready to communicate to serious men. 
As a majestrate I thought it my duty to sit, and we have constantly 
opened Court, and I shall not hesitate to determine what people will 
desire me and run the risque of themselves, and having taken an oath 
to determine according to law, shall never consider that act as such for 
want of power (I mean constitutional authority) in the Parliament to 
pass it. On this principle upon a matter being proposed at last court 
within the act, I informed the Court it was so, and then put a General 
Previous question whether they would proceed in any business desired, 
notwithstanding that act. They generally expressed their intention to 
proceed this spring, but thought it best to wait a little longer, as they 
had hitherto stop'd. Were I applied to for an attachment, or any other 
thing within my office out of court, I would grant it at the party's risque 
as to the validity of it, for I am not afraid of the penalty, at least so 
much as of breaking my Oath. 

Thus far the sentiments of others as well as myself for proceeding. 
Others, not inclined to admit the stamps, reason thus. The General 
Court it is thought will not proceed without them, if the act continues, 
their jurisdiction being superior to that of the County Courts, the 
suitors will know their resolution, and he that is cast will appeal and 
the General Court continue to reverse, for want of stamps, all the 
County Courts do, to the ruin and vexation of the suitors. Therefore 
it is best to wait til we know, and then conform to their resolution. 
Others say that the Governor being enjoined by oath and the duty of 
his station to endeavour to enforce the law, as soon as he is informed 
the Courts are proceeding, must issue new commissions to turn the 
majestrates out of office, and as none that are fit for it will and others 
dare not succeed them, a total privation of majestracy must follow, and 
even the Peace must be kept, but Gov r Bernard's state of general out- 
lawry realised. Thus you have the sentiments of all partys as far as 
they have come to my knowledge. I should add that Mr. Hanbury 
writes that the Ministry had not determined what to do, until they 
heard from the northern congress, but says there is not the least hopes 
of a repeal, tho' they speak of moderating it, and taking off the restraints 
upon trade, and doing some other things by way of composition. 

I have by this time convinced you there was no necessity for an 



112 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

appology for the length of yours, since for that purpose I will make 
none for this and only add once more that I am &c. 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Edmdndsbury, August 27, 1780. 
Dear Sir, — When you first went to Congress I should have be- 
spoke your correspondence, but knew your acquaintance was extensive 
and nearer relations very numerous, from whence I judged such a 
request would give you too much trouble, and declined it, as I was 
happy enough then to have two valuable friends, who handed me all the 
important intelligence which was allowed to be made public. They 
have since retired from Congress, and I must starve for want of news 
at this interesting crisis, unless you can drop me a line now and then 
without interfering too much with your business or ease. For happy as 
it would make me, I can't agree to accept it upon the terms of inter- 
rupting either. It is fair to let you know that the benefits arising from 
the correspondence will be unequal, since tho' you will find me diligent 
and punctual in it, yet placed as I am in a forest, occurrences will not 
enable me to give you much entertainment. Thus you have a fair state 
of the case on my side and will exercise the rights of friendship in de- 
clining it altogether, if you find it will subject you to any inconvenience. 
I am sorry to open this proposed intercourse with condoling you on the 
unhappy affair to the southward, the particulars of which you will know 
better than I, as I hear an aid has passed with Gen'l Gates' letter to 
Congress, and our accounts here are much confused ; we have been 
unfortunate in that quarter hitherto, but I hope we shall persevere til 
we catch the lucky moment for success, and that you will hand us 
something comfortable from the northward ere long. 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Edmundsburt, Sepf 25, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — I am made very happy by your obliging favor of the 
12th promising to indulge me in the desirable correspondence ; since I 
requested it I have been informed you have ill health. I cordially wish 
its speedy restitution, but intreat you'l not injure it by devoting to me 
too much of that small portion of time which health as well as vigor of 
mind requires should be emploied in relaxation from the severe duties 
of your appointment, and on these terms I shall thankfully accept the 
favor you so kindly offer. 

Our sanguine hopes of redeeming our ill luck to the southward, by a 
great stroke eastward, have lately been fluctuating, since the account of 
the fleet with the 2d division intended for our assistance by our illustri- 
ous allies being locked up at Brest, we had intelligence by a vessel from 
Cape Francois that he sailed from thence with a French fleet of 24 sail 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 113 

of the line for America, which he parted with to the southward. Cora- 
paring this with the account of our two prisoners escaped from Charles- 
Town that they were alarmed there by the arrival of a French fleet ; 
General Gates's information that St. Augustine was attacked, and the 
various accounts of a fleet of about 18 sail having passed our Capes, a 
mind sanguine as mine, will draw hopes of very important events yet 
taking place before the close of this Campaign. 

The affair to the southward was indeed unfortunate, not only in the 
loss of some of the brave Maryland line and the baggage, but in the 
disappointment we met of a great victory, which every circumstance 
promised. I feel no part of it more sensibly than its having added 
another article to the blushing honors of poor Virginia ; what will she 
come to ? Her new levies are gathering, they would have formed but 
a weak line at best, but their numbers considerably lessened by too 
many excuses of inability being admitted from the militia, and their 
quality impaired by accepting substitutes unequal to the person drafted ; 
there are however, some very clever fellows, and I should be satisfied 
with them, if they were engaged for the war, but by the time they learn 
the duty tolerably they return, and we are to incur again the ruinous 
expense of recruiting, which on this occasion has been enormous. I 
believe by accounts I have had the men inlisted have cost on an aver- 
age £5000 each besides the public bounty of a hhd tobacco, a sum 
which at any rate of depreciation must exceed the ability of any coun- 
try, frequently to repeat. 

I have thought long ago that 't was high time the confederation was 
compleated, and feared some foreign powers might entertain from its 
delay, suspicions of some secret disunion amongst the States, or a latent 
intention in Congress to keep it open for purposes unworthy of them ; 
I am happy to hear it is resumed and think it becoming, and indeed an 
indispensable duty in this, as in all other social compacts, for the con- 
tracting members to yield points to each other, in order to meet as near 
the center of general good as the different jarring interests can be 
brought, and did it depend upon my opinion I would not hesitate to 
yield a very large portion of our back lands to accomplish this purpose, 
except for the reason which Shakespeare has put into the mouth of his 
Hotspur. 1 In reason and justice the title of Virginia to the western 
territory can no more be questioned than to any other spot in it. The 
point was fully and warmly agitated in Congress and determined in her 
favor, 12 States were satisfied and agreed to confederate, and yet one 
stops the whole business, setting up her judgment in opposition to so 

1 " I'll give thrice so much land 
To any well deserving friend : 
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me, 
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair." 
15 



114 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

many ? Yield to her in this, may she not play the same game to gain 
any future point of interest? I am told that Maryland insists upon one 
of our delegates having in a manner promised when the point of declar- 
ing independence was in debate, that the back lands should be a fund 
for supporting the war. I have [heard] that a rhetorical expression 
to that purpose was used by a gentleman on that occasion. can 

balance that account at least by a very serious question more in point, 
debated in Congress in 1775, when the delegates from Pennsylvania 
and Virginia proposed that a garrison of 400 men be raised and kept at 
common expense at Pittsburg to awe the Indians. It was warmly 
opposed from Maryland upon this ground that it was a of those 

two States merely to guard their own frontiers in which the others were 
not concerned, and therefore the expense must be incurred by the 
former. Their objections prevailed, the motion was rejected, and the 
two States raised the 200 men that service soon afterwards : 

However with the Assembly it must rest to determine what they will 
yield to harmonize and cement the union, and it must be acknowledged 
that in other respects, particularly in the field, Maryland has maintained 
a very worthy character in the contest. For my own part I never 
was anxious about our back lands as a valuable fund. I was agaiust 
the sale of them at all, but for putting them into the hands of the 
people upon the terms and in the mode accustomed, being of opinion 
that the consequence of allowing purchases of unlimited quantities, and 
that without the obligation of culture, w r ould introduce more disputes 
and confusion than the money would recompense. The small experi- 
ence I have had of the business since, has rather confirmed than 
changed this opinion. However, as I was then, and perhaps am yet 
singular in this opinion, I am very ready to suppose I am mistaken 
in it. 

Whilst I am on this subject permit me to suggest that I have heard 
it surmized that this mighty earnestness in Maryland proceeds from 5 
or 6 gentlemen there being concerned in an Indian grant of great part 
of the country between the Ohio and the Lakes, which they hope to 
preserve by having it thrown into the share of that Country in case 
they make it a common stock. This our Assembly will never agree to, 
as it would be most unreasonable to expect them to yield their territory, 
in order to form principalities for a few individuals of other states. It 
is time for me to leave it to those whose province it is to decide on it ; 
it shall be mine to acquiesce. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Edmundsbdry, October 1, 1780. 
Dear Sir, — Since my last I have your favor of the 19th inst. and 
can't conceive where the great fleet of our allies are ? They must 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 115 

have left the windward Islands, and Rodney have been deceived by 
tliein if they did not come to America, as he would not otherwise have 
ventured to leave those seas. We hear nothing further of them to the 
southward. 

I hope they are not in a state of such perfect security at New York 
as to induce them to spare 5 or G000 men to invade us. Our people 
however promise if they should pay us such a visit, to fight them hard. 
I hope at least they will do better than those who met Ld. Cornwallis 
at Camden, I mean the militia, for the Maryland Regulars did honor to 
themselves and country. 

I am sorry to hear of the mortality which rages in your city. It is 
pretty general and might indeed be expected after so very hot a sum- 
mer. Even our healthy forests are not exempt from the ague and 
fever, tho' scarce ever known in them before. I hope you and my 
other friends from Virginia, escape the contagion, which low habits 
have generally the best chance to do. 

We have just received an account that Colo. Clarke has had a battle 
with the Indians at one of their towns about 170 miles from the Falls 
of Ohio. He had 16 killed and 12 wounded, and found about 15 of 
their dead. He made them run, burnt up two towns and destroyed all 
their corn there, about 300 acres of very fine. My informant who was 
in the action thinks it would have made 20 barrels to the acre. Col. 
Clarke did not pursue them, having intelligence that the Indians had 
somehow got notice of his attack, and had sent to Detroit for a power- 
ful reinforcement, which they daily expected. 

Edmd Pendleton. 

VtRGA October 8, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — I have your obliging favor of the 26th past & know 
not when my first letter, after you kindly accepted my proposed corre- 
spondence, should have reached you, but be assured I have not missed 
a week since, nor shall I unless sickness prevents me, being a very 
punctual tho' not an entertaining correspondent; at this time I have 
not a word of foreign or domestic intelligence to communicate, except 
that we had a report on Thursday last of a large fleet of British ships 
arrived in our bay and that they were landing their men at Portsmouth. 
But as I have heard nothing further of it and the governor had no ac- 
count of such an invasion on Friday, I take it for granted the story is 
without foundation. I might indeed fill my paper if I was to trace 
Graves and Rodney thro' the various excursions my fancy has framed 
for them, but blank paper will give you as much satisfaction as such a 
reverie would. 

What do you think of government having advertised the time and 
place for the execution of each condemned rioter in Britain ? It is a 



116 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

challenge to the mob to come forth, and confirms me in a former opin- 
ion, that the despotism adopted at the commencement of the present 
reign had a much more extensive object than America, and was in- 
tended to reach the whole empire. I think & foresee it began in 
Britain and that it will be prosecuted there whatever is the fate of 
America. And considering the number of crown officers and prisoners 
with the creditors of government and all their various connections, it 
seems to me they will have a better chance of succeeding there than 
here ; so we can keep clear of their horrid tyranny, they may settle 
the other point amongst themselves. 

Edm° Pendleton. 

Virg^ Oct 17, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — I am anxious to hear from you. Since missing that 
pleasure last week, I fear the general sickness of the citizens has 
reached you. I shall be happy to learn it proceeded from any other 
cause. 

The story we have of Gen! Arnold's corruption is indeed shocking 
to humanity and I wish much to know the utmost consequences of the 
discovery, as far as they are manifest, and proper to be made public ; 
for I know you too well ever to ask you to reveal even to me what your 
duty or the interest of the States requires to be kept secret, and if I 
know myself I would not desire it of any one. This I wish to gratify 
curiosity, and not because I feel any part or fear the keenest probe, 
as I hear some have done and taken themselves away. Providence 
in bringing this secret mischief to light just as it was on the point 
of completion, has given another instance of its kind interposition in 
favour of our just cause, which I hope will rouse all its favorers from 
that apathy from which alone our enemies can hope for success. We 
have just received a very agreeable piece of intelligence from No. Caro- 
lina, that Col. Sumpter has taken Col° Tarlton and all his horse but 4, 
with as many infantry as made in the whole 900, having surprised them 
in the village of Charlotte, when they were inebriating freely upon 
Col? Sumner's having evacuated that place and retreated towards 
Salisbury. The story is not ill told, and has this further confirmation 
that a gentleman in this county had just received a letter from his son 
who is in those parts, informing him that Sumner was retreating before 
the enemy, and Sumpter in their rear had written to General Gates to 
send him a speedy re-inforcement, which would enable him to cut off 
their retreat and he doubted not to give a good account of them. I 
suppose their junquet induced him to attack without waiting for the 
succors he had called for. If this be true, I hope 'tis the beginning of 
a flood tide in our southern affairs after the long ebb we have experi- 
enced, and the rather as we hear the North Carolinians turn out very 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 117 

spiritedly, and besides their infantry have mounted at least 1000 good 
horse, and that their southern neighbors grown weary of their new, old 
masters, are generally ready to aid in their expulsion as soon as they 
can have a tolerable prospect of success. Our Assembly are to meet us 
on this day. I have seen some of the members who appear resolved 
to make it the business of this session to provide for the next year's 
campaign which they have heretofore very improperly suspended to the 
May session, voting in that the raising of men at a time when they 
should have been in the field. May Heaven prosper their and your 
councils to the putting an agreeable period to the war. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, October 23<? , 1780. 

Dear Sir, — Since my last I have not only received your favor of 
the 10* but that of the 3?, when I supposed you had not written, also 
reached me after a circuitous trip to Richmond, and removed my 
fears for your want of health. I have no particulars of the affair at 
Charlotte, mentioned in my former, but its authenticity seems con- 
firmed, and as our recruits are marched that way, I hope we may 
soon have an army in that quarter to improve this beginning of good 
fortune. It will be the fault of Virginia if she is surprised by the 
enemy in case they intend an invasion here, since they have been for 
sometime past in daily expectation of such a visit ; how they may be 
prepared for it I know not, as I have not been lately away from 
home. 

How do Congress bear the horrid confinement of Gov' Gadsden & 
Co. ? Do they mean to retaliate, or suffer the Convention troops to 
riot in ease, plenty and breathe a free and healthy air whilst our 
friends are stifled and suffocated with the stench of a prison ship, or a 
dungeon in St. Augustine? It is horrible to think of, unless indeed it 
be true that in breach of their parole and good faith, they had really 
plotted the recapture of the town and garrison, which cannot easily be 
credited. 

The motions of our good allies are mysterious, but I yet hope may 
produce something beneficial before the end of the campaign ; we have 
a loose report that they have given the British fleet a great wound in 
the West Indies, but it is too vague to be relied on. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

50 sail of ships are in the bay. 

Virginia, October 30, 1780. 
Dear Sir, — Since my last your favor of the 17* has come to hand 
and we have a visit from the troops imbarked at New York. My 
accounts of them are very imperfect but they seem to have divided 



118 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

themselves, landing 1000 infantry and 300 horse at Hampton, and 
another body at Portsmouth. We have just heard that they have re- 
imbarked from Hampton, after taking about 500 head of cattle, but 
whether they meant to go off or come up James River and take posses- 
sion of Williamsburg, seemed doubtful. Perhaps the paper of to day 
may give us information, and give you also a more perfect account of 
the agreeable turn in our southern Affairs than I am able to do, having 
accounts of various pieces of good fortune in that quarter said to be 
well authenticated, but so jumbled together and the scenes at the same 
time so distant, that I can't develop the intelligence satisfactorily. 
Thus Tarlton is surprized, and 600 of his legion taken, but where or 
by whom is not said. I conjecture 'tis at Charlotte by Colo. Davidson, 
perhaps joined by the group of Colos. who beat Ferguson at King's 
Mountain. A council of British officers and indians are taken with 
many goods at Augusta in Georgia. This I suppose to be the affair of 
a Col Clarke, mention'd in Dixon's last paper. 6000 French have 
landed and taken the Savanah, and somebody has driven Lord Corn- 
wallis from his dinner, and somebody has taken Georgetown, but who 
they are and whether the same body did both I am not informed, 
perhaps your accounts from General Gates may be more intelligible. 
I think the stroke the British commerce hath received from the com- 
bined fleets off Cape Finisterre must humble them a little and perhaps 
they may think seriously of peace. Pray is it true that a Congress of 
ministers from the belligerent as well as several neutral powers is ex- 
pected to be held under the mediation of Russia ? and may we expect 
any good from it, or is it mere amusement? Is a general exchange of 
prisoners agreed on, or only a partial one? We hear Dr. Lee and 
M r Izard are with you and are open and unreserved in their abuse of 
Dr. Franklin. They must have very strong proofs before they can 
affect the character of that great man and philosopher, so long and 
universally esteemed for his wisdom and integrity, but I am more con- 
cerned for our common interest w r hich must receive injury from every 
internal wrangle of this sort. 

A sufficient number of our delegates had not met to make an House 
on Thursday last and as many of the town gentlemen went away on 
the news of the invasion, I doubt they have not yet, tho' a fortnight 
has elapsed since they should have met. The sickly season may have 
occasioned this, otherwise 'twill be difficult to account for the cause of 
such supineness at so critical a juncture, when the consequences may 
be fatal. I hear the militia march on this occasion with great alacrity 
and even ardor, tho' I think the setting them in motion is rather slow. 

I hope the prizes to the Saratoga have found their way through the 
fog to some of our ports, and not reached New York. . . . 

EdmV Pendleton. 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 119 

Virginia, November 6, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — My friend Mr. Griffin left me this morning by whom I 
sent you my best wishes for your health which he told me was low. 
I hope the approaching cold season may brace up your nerves. 

I judged from your account of the number of the enemy embarked 
from New York that they were in pursuit of something to eat; we now 
hear they have picked up a quantum sufficit to load their vessels with 
beef and mutton and are going back to New York, where 'tis said 
provisions were short ; but this supply and that by the Cork fleet will 
relieve them. 

We have loose accounts from the southward that the British army to 
the amount of 3,000 are taken, that of their being surrounded by some 
formidable bodies of ours seems well told and renders the other not 
improbable. 

Jnst after your account of the large invasion from Canada into the 
frontiers of New York, we were amused with* a certain account (as 
'twas called) of the taking of Quebec by the second division of the 
French fleet and army, so long expected at Rhode Island. We are 
since deprived of this pleasure by a flat contradiction of the intelli- 
gence. Was this mere invention, or had they any ground for circulat- 
ing the report. We had yet no House of Delegates on Saturday last 
which with an empty treasury, are circumstances unfavorable at this 
juncture. Mr. Henry has resigned his seat in Congress and I hear 
Mr. Jones intends it. It is also said the Governor intends to resign. 
It is a little cowardly to quit our posts in a bustling time. . . . 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, November 13, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 31 8 ." past and am pleased to 
hear the former account of the arrival of the Cork fleet proved pre- 
mature, since we are so bad Christians as to be gratified with the 
distress of our enemies. It was probably the transports with their new 
levies which were mistaken for the others. 

The enemy here have collected a handsome recruit of provisions, but 
whether they mean to carry them to their friends at New York, or to 
stay here and consume the stock, yet remains a doubt, since their con- 
tinuing to fortify at Portsmouth and the Great bridge indicates the 
latter, and yet their numbers, if we are not deceived in them, forbid 
such a conjecture. I have heard nothing certain from Gen! Muhlenberg, 
a loose report was that they had been fighting two days, but this is 
destroyed by later accounts. Perhaps the paper of to-day may give, 
some account of that as well as the enemy's sonthern army, who it is 
said have escaped our parties, and are like to get safe to Charlestown. 
The enquiry into General Gates' conduct gives general satisfaction, as 



120 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

popular prejudices against his conduct to the southward ran high, and 
such an enquiry will satisfie the public of the justice or injustice of the 
suspicion. 

It was rather unfortunate that an assembly at this important juncture 
could not make an House 'til last Monday (three weeks too late) for 
want of members. I hope they will make amends by their vigor and 
diligence for this great listlessness and inattention. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, November 27* 1780. 

Dear Sir, — My last account of the enemy was the 18 l . h when they 
were all embarked, but whether with a design to leave the State, or to 
make an impression on some other part of it was doubtful. There was 
something mysterious in their leaving their slaves on shore and some 
captured vessels in the harbor at Portsmouth, and indicated their hav- 
ing designs of further hostility — unless they had not room for the 
slaves, nor hands to spare to man the vessels. This uncertainty and 
a report of some deserters that they meant to come up James River 
induced Genl. Muhlenberg to move his camp higher up the river to 
watch their motions. I expect, however, that the post to day will 
bring us an account of their having left us. There was no truth in the 
story of a battle I mentioned in my last, but I believe it was true that 
a clever stroke of that sort was prevented by some dispute between two 
officers about rank, my friend there don't name them, but report says it 
was Gibson and Josiah Parker. 

Our last accounts from the southward are that L'd Cornwallis being 
surprized at a Tory's house at dinner, rode off thro' a hot fire of the 
militia and went off immediately in a litter to Charles Town, said by 
deserters to be mortally wounded. That his army was surrounded by 
different parties of ours, all of both very hungry, except Sumpter's 
party who were foremost and had the picking of the provisions. That 
Tarleton's horse had made a charge upon Sumpter in his camp, but 
found him so well prepared that he was glad to scamper off as quickly 
as his lean cavalry could do, leaving ten killed and twenty prisoners. 
I suppose he hoped for another surprise. 

I am told the assembly are raising a fund of negroes and plate as a 
means of recruiting our army for the war, according to your requisition 
on that head, but mean to contravene your wishes on the subject of 
money, intending I hear a large new emission, and to make that as well 
as what was emitted under the act of last session, and all certificates, 
payable for taxes of the next year, which will of course leave so much 
of the old money in circulation and stop a proportion of the new from 
coming south, and so retard, if not defeat, the purpose of Congress upon 
that great subject. I take this only from report, and it may be mis- 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 121 

represented; or if such be the present opinion, as they have yet a very 
thin House, it may change in the progress of laws framed on the sub- 
ject, which is a deep and delicate one, and may Heaven give them the 
wisdom to discern what is best and I doubt not their integrity in adopt- 
ing it. I don't hear they have proceeded yet to any elections of a chan- 
cellor or members to Congress. I suppose they wait to be fuller. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

[Virginia, Decern' 4 l . h 1780. 

Dear Sir, — Since my last I am indebted for your two favors of 
the 14* and 21 st past. Everything wears the appearance of confirming 
the intention of the enemy to make a winter campaign to the southward. 
The fleet who lately left us, it is said divided off the capes, part steer- 
ing eastward, the others to the South. If those and the late embarka- 
tion from New York should meet at Charlestown, I fear that with the 
army already there, they will recover the ground they have lost by the 
spirited affair at King's Mountain, and revive the rapidity of their 
progress through that State. 

Our militia are returned sickly and murmuring at the treatment they 
met with below, from forced marches and too strict attention to orders, 
not being allowed to break their ranks, tho ? to avoid deep ponds of 
water or to drink ; this brought on pleurisies and the death of 8 from 
this County that I have heard of, besides many yet in danger ; I fear 
it will have bad effects on the recruiting service, besides the loss of 
some good men. 

Our Assembly have made all paper money issued and to be issued a 
legal tender in payment of all debts. The specific negroe and plate 
taxes are given up and we are to pay £80 p r . ct. on the late specie valu- 
ation in January, as a fund for raising the soldiers at £5000 a man for 
three years' service (for I understand they have no hopes of raising 
them for the war) tho' I hope that term will exceed the other indefi- 
nite one. Mr. Blair succeeds Mr. Nicholas in the Chancery, and Mf 
Fleming goes into the General Court. Your Colleague in the room of 
Mr. Henry is yet to be chosen. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, December 11, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — I take up the pen merely to ask you how you do ? 
Having nothing foreign or domestic to entertain you with ; I have not 
even heard a word from the Assembly this two weeks. Yes, I have 
one very unlucky circumstance to mention, which tho' it may seem of 
little consequence, I fear will have important effects in the future. Our 
militia who turned out with the greatest alacrity, are returned with the 
most riveted disgust, which is communicated to all others, so that it is 

• 16 



122 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

announced in all companies, that they will die rather than stir again. 
They were very sickly and many died below, on their way back and 
since their return, all which they attribute to the brutal behavior of a 
Major M c Gill, a regular officer, who had the command of them in their 
march down ; besides forced and hasty marches, wh. will hurt raw men. 
They alledge that he wantonly drove them through ponds of water 
which might have been easily avoided, and would not allow them time 
to eat. Thus travelling in their wet cloaths they contracted laxes and 
pleurisies, which proved fatal. This disgust I fear will prove a pro- 
hibition to the recruiting our Continental quotas — if it produces none 
other bad effects. 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Virginia, January 1?*, 1781. 
Dear Sir, — I have forfeited my reputation for punctuality by 
omitting to pay you my respects by last post, which being Christmas day, 
I had fancied the rider would not move, but he did so, and without my 
letter. I am afraid you'll say it would have been no loss, if I had repeated 
the mistake to day, since I have not a syllable of intelligence foreign or 
domestic, except that we have housed a fine crop of corn, such as 
was never seen in Virginia before, and have hitherto had a charming 
winter. The account of Sumpter's success against Tarltdn, and of Col. 
Washington's compleat surprize of the enemy, at least a party of them, 
are our last accounts from the southward, and I do not hear on what 
ground our Assembly fixed the recruiting bill which changed shapes as 
often as Proteus. It is said they adjourned on Saturday last. I am 
glad to hear that the embarkation at New York was only taking place 
when you wrote your last letter, as we had supposed the reinforcement 
were already at the southward. As it is, we have some more time for 
preparation. I fear not enough. . Pray what do you think of our new 
appointment of something, I know not what to call him, to Congress ? x 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Virginia, February 5, 1781. 
Dear Sir, — I congratulate with you upon the very agreeable in- 
telligence from the south of which you will have a full account ere this 
reaches yoii. I think L'd Cornwallis's army must be broken and can 
only depend for safety upon that at Cambden under Gen'l Lesly, and 
could we immediately fill up our line for the war, I think the termination 
of that evil would not be far distant. I have heard Arnold and his crew 
have left us, but dont know the certainty, ^ Nor for what purpose the 
Assembly are to meet the 1 st of March, unless it be on the subject of 
money or that any circumstance respecting the recruiting the men may 

1 Benjamin Harrison. See Letters of Joseph Jones, Washington, 1889, p. 65. 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 123 

make it necessary. Perhaps times appointed for measures may have 
elapsed during the invasion and require new directions. 

Our friend Craddock Taylor wishes to know if there are any hopes 
of his speedy exchange. There are some seamen at Winchester who 
would answer the purpose, if they can be applied to it, but that you 
know best. It is said that in Morgan's engagement the militia behaved 
to a charm, dealing out their bayonets with all the spirit and dexterity 
of veterans. Let them have credit for it. 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Virginia, March 5, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 13 th past and thank you for 
the foreign intelligence, on which head we are m*de to expect something 
more interesting this week by an account which a gentleman affirms he 
saw going to the press in New York City, of Count d'Estaigne's having 
taken 7 sail of the line of British ships out of a squadron of 9, and forty 
odd transports. Whither bound, we hear not, and of course taking it 
by the best handle for ourselves, we set it down for the reinforcement 
we have been threatened with to their Southern army, and conclude we 
have so many less to contend with. 

In mentioning the race between Green and Cornwallis, I stated them 
as running parallel at the distance of about 60 miles. It seems they 
were much closer, and in the same tract, Green's rear frequently skir- 
mishing with the other's van to give his own time to get on. However, 
Dan river ended the pursuit, his IAhip, having staid on the south side 
about ten days, retreated to Hillsborough, and there divided his army into 
3 bodies, one setting out towards Salisbury, another towards Cape Fear, 
and a third taking a course between. If he continues that order of 
march, as his parties must soon be far distant one from another, I think 
two at least, if not the whole, must fall a prey to the pursuers, or to 
Govf N;ish and Caswell, who, 'tis said, have a large body in their way. 
But this is rather supposed to be a shamade, and that he will soon re- 
unite them in one body and march for Cambden. Be it as it may, I 
think our Cavalry must do something on this retreat. 

It is mentioned as from good authority, that the French ships in our 
Bay had been out on a cruise and returned with five provision ships 
and two armed vessels destined for Portsmouth. I fancy a seasonable 
disappointment to the enemy, who are rather scarce there. Our As- 
sembly met on Fryday last, and Col. Lee placed in the chair without 
opposition. We continue to pick up men for the war and shall get 
more than I expected. 

The group of Col ? I formerly mentioned, it is now said brought 
Green 2000 men, who are cheerfully gone with him in the pursuit, and 
I hope will be an overmatch for Cornwallis' mirmidons in bearing the 



124 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

fatigues of march, as well as skirmishing, should they meet in the 
woods. Let Virginia have credit for having thus stop'd this powerful 
adventurer on her borders, if she should not be able to give a more 
agreeable account of him. 

Edm° Pendleton. 

Virginia, March 19, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 27 th was closely followed by Col® 
Harrison, who gave me much information ; I had the satisfaction 
among other things to learn that your health was re-established which 
I had entertained some fears about from accounts last fall. May it 
long continue firm and vigorous. 

I have been long in hopes of hearing some good account of Corn- 
wallis, in consequence of his mad trip, and reports for some time had 
been very favorable to such expectations. Having nothing from thence 
lately, we consider it a bad omen, and are prepared for any disagree- 
able intelligence to which two loose stories, of the defection of a militia 
General Gregory, who had engaged to betray and deliver up 1000 
men, but was discovered in time to prevent it; and the surprize of our 
infantry under a Col . Williams, have a good deal contributed. A third 
indeed is added, that our militia cool in ardor in proportion as they 
retire from the line of the State and grow impatient. I wish they 
could always be engaged as soon as they are collected, whilst they pos- 
sess that fire which they carry from home. I fear indeed that they 
want provisions in that country, not abounding in them at best, and 
now exhausted by the ravages of both armies. In short I cannot 
avoid my fears of disagreeable news from that quarter after expecting 
the best. 

It is strange that we can't depend upon what we hear even from the 
sea coast of our own country. You'l have heard of the enemy's 
having come from Portsmouth into Hampton neck for plunder. The 
spirit of a few neighboring militia, tho' they got hurt in the opposi- 
tion deprived them of all their plunder except a few negroes and horses. 
We first heard they had gone back to their Den ; then that they 
had advanced to York Town. We were last week assured the Marquis 
had got safe down and a considerable French fleet arrived ; now we are 
told . that neither had happened ; we have two accounts circulating 
which we consider in opposition to each other, and but one of them 
can be true, if either be so, that St. Eustatia is taken by Britain, 
and that Count d'Estaigne had burnt 300 ships in Kingston Harbor 
and plundered the town. If the account of the Count's former cap- 
ture of part of Hood's squadron be true, the latter is not improbable ; 
nor if it be groundless is the former. 

Were the outlines of the basis of a treaty for peace which were pub- 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 125 

lished in the Packet really sent from Spain, or fabricated in Phila. ? 
I think they would be a good foundation to build on. 

My mouth waters when I read the Adv! for the sale of the Sara- 
toga's prize, containing such a quantity of that Cordial Elixir I have 
long been deprived of. However, I will not depart from the restraint 
I laid myself under from the beginning, to purchase nothing which is 
not absolutely necessary. 

We have just heard that our allies have lost their naval superiority 
to the northward. 

Edm. d Pendleton. 

Our Assembly have yet done nothing, being engaged in a dispute 
about privilege. 

The Marquis is arrived at York in a whale boat, two days after 
another boat arrived there with about 30 men. The residue of his 
men got to Annapolis just time enough to escape two frigates Arnold 
sent up to take them. 

Vikginia, March 26, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I have your of the IS 1 ! 1 which announces Mr. Jones's 
intention of coming to Virginia, so that you will have for a time at 
least, the whole burthen of my correspondence on your hands, as I am 
in this instance a severe task master and can't abate of my weekly 
revenue. I'm sorry there is so good ground for discrediting Count 
d'Estaign's victory. I even doubt his going at all to the West Indies, 
which may admit of the enemy's parting with some of their ships from 
that quarter to reinforce and give a decided superiority to their fleet 
in America. Indeed our Executive are of opinion that the squadron 
now in our bay is from thence commanded by Rodney. However from 
their number and sort, it is generally supposed to be the New York 
fleet, and that their errand is to take away Arnold's corps. Some 
negroes lately escaped say the troops at Portsmouth are in high spirits 
upon the prospect of getting off. The Marquis it is said, is much 
chagreen'd at his disappointment. 

A vessel is just arrived from Martinico, the captain of which affirms 
that the British have taken Statia, as well as the American vessels, but 
I rather think it is a mistake, as that would be too bold an attack upon 
the confederation for supporting the rights of neutrality, for even 
the apathetic Dutch to bear. They might color over the taking the 
American vessels, but not the other. 

I can almost venture to congratulate you upon the event of Gen| 
Greene's battle, which tho' he first quitted the field, may be considered 
in its effects as a victory ; since he retreated in good order, unpursued, 
and offered battle again the same day, which was declined on the part 
of Cornwallis. Since their loss at least doubled ours, and our general 



126 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

and men remained in high spirits eager for another action, when the 
account came away. This will, however, be highly puffed off at New 
York, if we may judge of their candor from the account they published 
of Morgan's brilliant victory. I am happy in being told that our 
militia at this time stood as firm as a rock, tho' concerned to hear their 
brave leader Gen'l Stevens received a wound in his thigh, it is said to 
be in the flesh only and not dangerous. It is said the N. Carolina 
militia were very bashful, but I hope they may recover their fortitude 
another time. If Arnold goes, I expect it will be there, which affording 
an opportunity to the Marquis and Gen'l Wayne to unite their Corps 
to Green's, may draw the contest more to a point, and be productive of 
some good consequences, tho' the detail divided rencounters might 
probably be prose [?] promising of success to us. 

I send you for your amusement a battery which our Assembly was 
preparing to send to Congress against the Northern States, but were 
diverted from the subject by Col° Harrison's return and the prospect of 
assistance. You will consider it as the rough draft of a private mem- 
ber only, not considered even by the committee who were to prepare it. 
It may be not improper for Congress to pay some attention to the 
sentiments, tho' you'l not publish the paper. 

The Assembly this session got over that frugal disposition which at 
the last prevented their filling up our representation to Congress, and 
they have done so. Whether Col° Lee's election to the chair and the 
Drs presence gave hope of the latter being appointed, and produced 
the change of sentiment, or to what other cause it is to be attributed I 
will leave to motive-mongers to decide and only say that Col° Harrison 
is elected, but as it was in his absence, I know not whether he means 
to accept it. I know not what the Assembly have done besides au- 
thorizing the emission of 15 millions more, and directing the raising two 
legions for State defence to consist of 600 infantry and 100 cavalry 
each, under a Brigadier (Spots wood) L l Col Taylor and Meade, and 2 
Majors each. The cavalry to find their own horses. Officers and men 
to receive Continental pay, rations and forage whilst on duty, which is 
only during an invasion. The privates, half pay at all other times, and 
the whole exempted from all other militia duties and drafts : which if 
completed, will be a better defence against plunderers than our former 
systems. 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Virginia, April 2 ?, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — Since my last, I have Mr. Jones' favor of the 20 4 ! 1 , but 
as I hear he is now at home, I write you, as I shall continue to do 
weekly in future. 

Mr. Jones mentions the anxiety in Phil a for the event of an expected 






1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 127 

meeting between the French and British fleets. In this perhaps, you 
may be relieved by some intelligence which has not reach'd us, but we 
are quite in the dark about it, having a British fleet lying quiet in 
Lynhaven Bay, joined lately by some transports, so as to make the 
whole about 40 sail. At sometimes we are told they brought General 
Philips and a reinforcement of 1500. Other accounts are that they 
have no troops at all. Various also are the reports respecting the 
battle. Some say it was a severe conflict, in which the British were 
worsted, having the London and 2 74's towed in, and that the Freneh 
did not pursue them into the Bay, because they did not choose to risque 
their troops, which they had since landed at Cape Fear. Others report 
the engagement was very trivial, and rather a kind of salute as they 
past each other. And in this State of suspense are we at present, 
respecting this important affair. 

I am happy to find that every day proves Gen'l Green's battle to 
have ended more favorable for us, than was known at first. It was 
peculiarly fatal to his officers, who I suppose were the marks of our 
riflemen and of whom it [is] said he has not enough left to command 
his shattered army. Nothing more strongly evinces his imbecility than 
his having left behind him part of his own wounded, with ours, among 
the number Gen'l O'hara, since dead. I think we must yet catch this 
noble adventurer, who yet appears to be the object of a special Provi- 
dence, since of two horses killed under him, one received 15 balls, and 
yet the rider escaped unhurt. 

A letter from Philadelphia of the 20 th past mentions the death of the 
Empress of Russia and that her successor had allied himself to Britain, 
but as Mr. Jones to me and Dr. Bland to the Gov r in letters of the 
same date, are silent as to that important subject, I think it rather some 
mercantile manoeuvre. However, if Britain hath not a good prospect 
at least of some powerful ally, her late stroke at the Dutch is astonish- 
ing, and must proceed from unbounded pride or desperation. Surely 
this blow must cure the Mynheers of their apathy and rouse them to 
some great exertions, as well as inspire the other confederated neutral 
powers with resentment. But in this case I fear my hopes of peace this 
year will vanish, and perhaps all Europe get involved in a tedious war, 
in which America will be involved, a circumstance not at all agreeable 
to the general wishes of the people this way. 

Edm u Pendleton. 

Richmond, 7 April, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 27 l . h past, which gave us the 

first certain account what had become of the French fleet since the 

engagement off our capes. It is however confidently affirmed that 

the British took a 64 or 74 and have her now with their fleet. I do 



128 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

not believe it unless it be one not belonging to the fleet engaged, picked 
up at some other time, and that is very improbable. 

Reports continue uncertain as to the number and destination of the 
late reinforcement from New York ; they have not hitherto made any 
hostile movement here, and are generally supposed to be designed for 
more southward operations, either by land through No. Carolina or to 
be sent round by water. If we are to credit a report just received, 
Lord Cornwallis wants their assistance, for we are told that in severe 
engagements on two successive days, Greene was victorious and had 
wounded his army severely. This comes in a letter from a Virginia 
officer to his lady, which had been read by a gentleman from whom 
another gentleman had it who brought it here, both of undoubted credit ; 
but no official account of the affair is yet brought to the Governor. It 
is not in the letter, but a report accompanies it, that Tarleton's legion 
is wholly cut to pieces, and himself killed, having refused to accept 
quarter. In this situation the time of service with our militia with 
Gen'l Greene is expired, and he will be left a prey to the enemy, or 
obliged to abandon his prospects and fly from victory before our men 
can be replaced. Do Congress mean to have the weight of the southern 
war entirely upon Virginia ? Or suffer our main army to remain idle 
spectators of repeated drafts from New York to recruit .the enemy in 
this quarter, without any corresponding assistance to us ? Surely not, 
as it must produce the worst consequences. I am happy to find our 
people willing to exert themselves on this great occasion, but know they 
are not alone able to support this burthen, nor do I believe they will 
submit to be duped. 

A report was circulated last week upon a letter from your city that 
the Empress of Russia was dead and her successor had joined Britain, 
which by another letter this week is improved into a junction of all the 
northern powers with that court, but as you did not mention it, I am 
satisfied 'tis a mercantile manoeuvre. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Caroline, 16 April, 1781. 
Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 3 d . and am glad to hear the 
Penns a line are coming, and hope the Marquis' corps or some other 
will be added to the southern army as I fear without it, we are not in a 
condition to oppose the force designed to act in that quarter. Gen'l 
Greene's new manoeuvre I consider as a hazardous one, which may 
produce consequences very beneficial, or he may be overpowered and 
caught by reinforcements to Lord Cornwallis. I have great reliance on 
his prudence and foresight, and suppose he is directed by probable 
prospects of security and advantage. Our enemy below appear tolera- 
bly quiet and have not yet manifested their intentions. It is said they 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 129 

are on board their vessels, some say going out, others up the Bay, and 
the Caroline militia were on Saturday called to Fredricksburg to defend 
the public works there and Hunters, it being said they were up Potow- 
mack, had burnt Alexandria, and were to destroy those works in their 
return, by marching there from Potowmack creek. I have just heard 
that the alarm was mistaken, and that it was only a small plundering 
party, who having met with some rebuffs, were hastening down the 
river. They were in sight of Alexandria, but did not attempt to land. 
I think our elections hitherto give us hope, that the Assembly will be 
improved, tho' in some instances in the Northern Neck, the contrary 
would appear to be the case. 

Edm" Pendleton. 

23 April, 1781. 
Dear Sir, — Since my last nothing material has come to my knowl- 
edge, the fleet up Potowmack proved as J expected a mere plundering 
party, or if they meant anything hostile against Alexandria or Fred- 
ericksburg, they were deterred from the attempt by the preparation made 
to receive them. They have been alarmed at Richmond for some time 
past expecting another visit from the enemy, upon hearing they were in 
James River; lam just now told they are in possession of Williams- 
burg, but cannot learn their numbers, or whether they mean to stay 
there or plunder and return. A body of militia are about 5 miles off, 
but I suppose inferior to the enemy, as they did not dispute the city 
with them. Should they mean to take a post there, they will command 
the whole neck down to Hampton, and will oblige us to keep two large 
bodies of militia, one on each side James River, which can afford no 
assistance to each other, whilst the enemy, masters of the water, can 
throw in aid from one post to the other if there be occasion : I fear our 
crops, of corn particularly, will be much injured by the large number of 
militia already in service and yet more will be necessary unless succors 
arrive speedily from the northward. What is become of the Penns* 
line? We have been told they had refused to march southward, but 
since that they are expected to reach Fred? this day. Had we those 
and the Marquis' corps we might hope to drive off these invaders, which 
cannot be done by militia alone, especially ill formed as ours are. Your 
brother left me this morning in his way to the university, Mr. Wythe 
having advertised his lectures to commence the I s . 1 of May. I expect 
your brother will hear of the enemy's possession of it, and return. He 
left the family well. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 30 April 1781. 
Dear Sir, — Since my last your two favors of the 10 th and 17^ 
have come to hand together, a week's mail having failed to come to 

17 



130 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

Fredericksburg on account of the enemy's being up Potowmack, and 
that I judge was the reason of your missing my letter of that week, 
which has probably since reached you. I hope I give all the credit due 
to the report of the Russian junction with Great Britain when I don't 
believe a word of it. Such an event may take place at some future 
period, but the haughty temper of the latter must come down first. 

You '11 probably have heard of the progress of Gen'l Philips in this 
State. They paid a visit to York and Williamsburg, where they be- 
haved civilly enough, doing little or no mischief. Our militia at the 
latter place consisting of about 800 men under the command of Col. 
Innes, knowing they had sent a large body to land up James River to 
cut off his retreat, very prudent retired in time and crossed Pamunky 
at Rumn's Ferry. The enemy remained but a few days at Williams- 
burg, went up James and Appamattox river, landed at Cedar Point, 
and marched to Rlandford, where Gen'l Muhlenberg, who had come 
up by land on the south side of James River, and was joined by some 
militia of the neighborhood to the amount in the whole of about 1500, 
was posted to oppose them ; a warm conflict ensued, which lasted about 
25 minutes, in which I am happy in assuring you, our militia dis- 
covered a bravery which would have done honor to veteran troops, and 
gives a happy presage of our being finally able to repel these invaders. 
It was with difficulty that the general could bring them off, when he 
judged it prudent to do so, and they retreated in good order with their 
cannon to our camp at Chesterfield Court House. As I have seen no 
official account, I can only give you that I have had from different 
persons who were in the action, and say our loss in killed, wounded 
and missing is about 100. They speak from conjecture only when 
they say they must have killed at least 200 of the enemy, but I think 
our marksmen must in that time have done very considerable execution, 
and left them little but the name of victory to boast of. Reports are 
various and uncertain as to their motions since the action. At one 
time they are on their march to Richmond, and at others that they are 
at Manchester, on the opposite side of the river. I wish they may 
persevere in their intention to possess our capital once more, as I think a 
good account will in that case be given of them, but I rather suspect 
they are showing such an intention whilst their vessels load with 
tobacco at Petersburg, and then they will go to the mouth of Ap- 
pomattox and ship themselves for Portsmouth. Innes with his body 
of men has joined Col Wood, who had another at Richmond that is 
daily reinforcing, but to crown our hopes the Marquis's troops would 
reach that post or last night. I had the pleasure of seeing them as 

they passed, and they are indeed a fine body of men. I anticipate the 
spirits their appearance must give our militia, and I hope in my next 
to be able to give you some pleasing intelligence. 

Edm? Pendleton. 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 131 

Caroline, 7 th May, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 24 t . h past which contained an 
in much intelligence. From the various accounts of French 

and Spanish Fleets they would almost appear to cover the seas in 
Europe, America and the West Indies, and when the promised spirited 
exertion of the Dutch is added, we may hope our cruel and haughty 
enemies are on the eve of being reduced to reason at least ; more espe- 
cially if our present current report should prove true, that the Bank of 
England has become Bank-rupt And if it is not, our author must lie 
wilfully, as he affirms he read a full and circumstantial account of it in 
a London and in a New York paper. I shall be impatient to receive 
your next paper on that account. Perhaps that may have changed Sir 
Harry Clinton's purpose of coming southward, since we are told by 
some officers just come from your city, that he had not left New York. 

General Philips in his way up James River at Williamsburg, and all 
other places, affected to shew great lenity, avoiding all private injury 
or even requiring paroles from individuals not in arms. The affair at 
Blandford was not so considerable as I wrote you, the number killed 
not exceeding ten on either side. Our militia, however, behaved well, 
since there were not above 500 engaged against 2000 at least, whom they 
fought for two hours and more than once produced disorder in their 
ranks. The arrival of the Marquis's corps was critical to save Rich- 
mond, which I believe the enemy meant to occupy. They even medi- 
tated an attack on the Marquis on this day sen'night, when Arnold was 
detached with 1500 to cross below and begin an action with the Mar- 
quis's left wing, whilst Philips was to cross from Manchester with the 
remainder of the army and attack his right. Part of Arnold's troops 
had crossed when Philips was induced to recall him and stop the affair, 
on information that Muhlenberg was coming down the south side James 
River with a large body of militia, which, however, was a mistake for 
he came down on the north, and was ready to have received Philips, if 
he had attempted to cross. There was then an end to Philips's good 
humor, and he began with burning the warehouses in Manchester, as 
he did before and after all those on that side from thence to Islandford, 
containing, it is said, about 1500 hogsheads. They went down the 
river sweeping all the slaves and other property, and pillaging and de- 
stroying houses, in which business they had got as low as Sandy Point 
on Friday evening last ; our army is marching down on this side, 
nearly opposite to them, so that I believe they will not call again at 
Williamsburg. Their plunder is immense, particularly in slaves, of 
whom the vessels lately up Potowmac got a large number also, and 
a vessel lately at York Town ship'd 360 from that neighborhood, so 
infatuated are these wretches that they continue to go to them, not- 
withstanding many, who have escaped, inform others of their ill-treat- 



132 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Feb. 



ment. Those who are not sent off to the West Indies being kept at 
hard labor upon very short allowance, so as to perish daily. We have 
a good body of militia in the field joined to the Marquis, so that we 
should not feel the enemy, if we could bring them to action ; but the 
situation of our rivers whilst in their power will unavoidably enable 
them by running from one to another, to do much mischief to indi- 
viduals, and plunder now appears to be their mode of warfare in all 
parts. I hope their marine dominion will not be of long duration, and 
then we can fight them on more equal terms. 

I have heard nothing respecting Gen'l Greene for a long time. One 
Lawson I hear is setting out with a body of militia to join him. I wish 
he had also the Pennsylvania line. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 14 May, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I was disappointed in receiving no letter from you by 
the last post, which was the greater, as I was anxious to be satisfied 
about a piece of intelligence which had been related here by a Balti- 
more merchant, a particular account of which he affirmed he had read 
both in a London and New York paper, that is, that the Bank of Eng- 
land had failed. However, as I can [not] find that any other person 
hath seen such an account, or even heard it otherwise than from him, I 
conclude it to be some Hum, though I am not able to develope the wit 
or policy meant by it; unless that he was not a warm friend to America, 
and intended to sneer at that confusion in our paper which I am con- 
cerned to hear happen'd about that time, from some State finesse be- 
tween Pennsylvania and Jersey : pray how was that affair and what 
consequences have attended, or are likely to result from it, since we 
can place very little confidence in accounts which trading men give of 
money matters. 

Since my last, Gen'l Philips after going as low as James Town sud- 
denly tacked about and sailed up to Brandon, where he landed his 
troops; the Marquis and General Muhlenberg with a body of militia 
crossed James River, leaving Gen'l Nelson with another body on this 
side to watch the motions of the enemy, and give him notice if they 
should recross the river below. But Philips reached Petersburg be- 
fore him, and Lord Cornwallis being as is said near Hicks's Ford, about 
45 miles from that Town, the Marquis found it impractible to pre- 
vent their junction and returned to Richmond, where I suppose he will 
collect all his force to oppose them. But what his or their united force 
may be, I know not. We are impatient for the arrival of the Pennsyl- 
vania line, since, though our militia are going cheerfully to the scene, I 
fear they will be but badly armed. The Assembly have adjourned to 
Charlottesville that their deliberations might be undisturbed. They 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 133 

will be in poor quarters, and some speak of going from thence to 
Staunton, others to Fredericksburg. The day they have adjourned to 
is the 24* 

We have been uneasy about the fate of Gen'] Greene, as his last letter 
to the Governor mentions his finding Cambden much stronger both in 
the works and garrison, than he expected to find it, so that he had little 
to hope and much to fear. Since then we are told that a Mr. Willis is 
arrived from his camp and relates an action has happened, with the fol- 
lowing circumstances : " that a deserter from Greene informed Lord 
Rawdon his artillery was not come up, which induced his Lordship to 
come out in force to attack Green, whose artillery, however, came up 
just before and a battle ensued which lasted 5 hours, when both armies 
retired and encamped on the ground they had respectively occupied the 
night before, and Greene expected the fight would be renewed next 
morning ; the enemy however retreated, were charged in their retreat 
by Col. Washington, who killed and took 250, making up their loss in 
the whole 600 killed, wounded and taken ; Greene's loss about 200." 
This is Willis's account, who is said to be a gentleman of credit ; he 
adds that a few days before Greene had intercepted about 300 Tories 
going into Cambden, and killed the greatest part of them. 

If these things be true, I hope Greene is in a better way than he 
and we feared he would be, and I am not able to account for the policy 
of Earl Cornwallis having left those States in such a situation and 
come hither, unless he has a mind to add Virginia to the roll of nomi- 
nal conquests. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Col? R. H. L. declined taking a seat in the Assembly. I am told 
Mr. Henry is not elected. I suppose he declined also. 

Cornwallis is at Halifax. The Marquis has crossed Appomattox 
above, to march down on Philips. The Militia go to Petersburg on this 
side. 

Virginia, 21 May, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — Your obliging favor of the I s * hath raised my curiosity ; 
yet I cannot but approve your caution, and notwithstanding my keen 
appetite for news I would rather be the last man in America to know 
an interesting thing, than that our cause should be injured in the smallest 
degree by my knowing it first. And I think I told you formerly, that 
I entertained too high a sense of your honor to expect or desire you to 
communicate any secrets of your body. It gives me satisfaction to find 
that European politics wear a favorable aspect for America. 

I have read the Pennsylvania law for giving Congress a revenue in- 
dependent of the individual States, and cannot but much approve the 
spirit of it, not only as it tends to give more stable dignity to that great 
Council, but the subject of taxation promises an additional cement to the 



134 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. 



[Feb. 



union by interesting each state in some degree in the trade of the 
whole ; two doubts appear to me to arise upon the propriety of this 
act, however, which I mention that you may, if it can be done, remove 
them and prevent what may otherwise prove some obstruction to the 
passage of a similar act here, as I mentioned them to a gentleman of 
our Assembly who meant to be a warm advocate for such a law. 1. The 
law is perpetual, and as it is in general a dangerous policy to lay such 
a tax, so it appears to me particularly wrong to do so in the infancy of 
states and upon an opening trade, when no just estimate can be made 
of what it may probably amount to, when that trade comes to maturity. 
I should rather think it should be for a term only when experience may 
teach whether it is proper to continue, increase or diminish it. 

The 2 d objection is to the mode. The law says it shall be " levied and 
collected as Congress shall direct." Now how can Congress direct and 
inforce the collection of this money without judiciary and executive 
powers which may interfere with the internal government reserved to 
each state by the Confederation. I should think, therefore that the 
law imposing the duty should point out the mode of collection and give 
speedy and adequate remedies to inforce the payment to such person 
as Congress shall appoint in each state to receive it, and to be subject 
to their disposition, which will preserve their uncontrollable power over 
the money without the other inconveniences. It might give them indeed 
some additional weight to have the appointment of the several collectors, 
but as it appears to me that they must necessarily be the naval officers, 
I suppose the States will scarcely agree to leave the appointment of 
them, who are necessary and important officers in many state affairs to 
Congress. You'll consider these things, and give me your sentiments 
upon them as soon as convenient. 

It is confidently said that Clinton is arrived in our bay, but I give no 
credit to it ; nor indeed can I to anything I hear even from James River. 
General Philips is certainly dead, and the command is again in Arnold, 
between whom and the Marquis nothing material has yet happened. 
How soon they may begin I don't know. Reports as to Lord Corn- 
wallis are various. He has been said to be at Halifax, Hicks's Ford, and 
even at Petersburg, but now is left at Tar River in North Carolina, 
from whence he sent Col? Hamilton and Tarleton to Halifax without op- 
position. Nay they are even brought to Petersburg, but I can't rely upon 
any part of it ; nor on the reports of Greene's being in possession of 
Cambden, which we have had for two days. 

I am told our army are well supplied with provisions at present, and 
I doubt not but the collection of one tenth of our cattle, lately made, 
and which are now fatting in the several counties, will keep up the 
supply through the year. We shall also furnish them with some bacon 
for change of diet. Edm d Pendleton . 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 135 

May 28< h , 1781. 
Dear Sir, — Since my last I have your two favors of the 8'. h and 
15* the former have met with a circuitous passage through several post 
offices beyond me. The noise about the paper money was as weak as 
the cause which produced it, and proves I fear that people in those parts 
have more at heart the making fortunes, than promoting the glorious 
cause we are concerned in. However, it must be acknowledged that 
our finance hath wanted stability and system ; different states will 
adopt various modes of complying with the requisitions of Congress, 
and individuals in each will pertinaciously pursue their opinions, so as to 
carry at one session what they have been over-ruled in at a former, and 
hence arises that neutrality, so destructive of every political measure. 
I fear this mischief hath its origin in human nature, and that a change 
will be difficult. However I think Congress have taken the most 
promising method to affect it, in appointing this important subject to the 
sole consideration of one man, whose mind shall be kept free from the 
distraction of various objects, and from the general character of Mr. 
Morris the choice of him appears judicious. I cordially wish success to 
his endeavors. 

Our people are made very angry by a report that the Pennsylvanians, 
instead of forwarding their troops with that celerity which their duty 
and the situation of things demanded, were throwing out insulting 
speeches that Virginia was too grand ; let her be humbled by the enemy, 
and such like. What consequences this may produce I know not, but 
they will be chargeable to the companies of Landjobbers who for their 
own interests are poisoning the minds of the people by their fallacious 
publications. I am sorry that line was not forwarder, as for want of 
them probably the Marquis was obliged to abandon Richmond, which 
he left on Saturday evening and retired on this side Chickahominy. 
We suppose this step was occasioned by information that the enemy 
was crossing the swamp below, and by marching up on the Hanover 
side meant to cut off his retreat. However we deal in conjecture only, 
and if the Marquis means to avoid an action at present, it will be prob- 
ably a prudent measure, since tho' his numbers would be fully equal to 
the most flattering expectations if they were regulars, it might be too 
much to risque the loss of his few valuable veterans upon the firmness 
of militia. Our last account of the enemy was that they had landed at 
Westover, and were on Saturday between that and four miles Creek, 
which I believe is about 20 miles from Richmond. They are said to be 
between 4 & 5000. 12 vessels are lately come up James River, some 
say they bring Lord Cornwallis's baggage and invalids from Cape Fear, 
others that they brought troops from New York, perhaps some of each. 

A militia man just returned from a tour of duty under General 
Greene, and who is said to be a man of credit, reports that a few days 



136 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

after the action of the 25 th of April, Lord Rawdon burnt Cambden and 
retreated to George Town, leaving behind him his own and our sick 
and wounded. That the Virginia militia being discharged in the even- 
ing, stayed all night, and two hours before day next morning Gen! Greene 
marched with his army, he could not tell which way, but supposed 
towards Georgetown. If this deserves any credit, I suppose you'll have 
an express from the General. 

I am glad to hear Mr. Jones is returned to Congress on more accounts 
than one. I shall write him by this post and hope he'll relieve you 
from half the labor of corresponding with 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Perhaps my next may be dated from the mountains. 

Mountains, 6 July 1781. 
My dear Sir, — I think my last to you was the 27'. h of May when I 
prophecied that my next would be probably dated from hence. It was 
on the day after that, more to comply with the earnest importunities 
of my neighbors, than influenced by my own judgment or inclination, 
I took flight from Caroline with a few slaves and necessaries to enable 
me to exist, if what I left should become a prey to the enemy. Our 
neighborhood, however, happily escaped the hostile visit hitherto, and 
I hope will yet do so, unless some reverse of fortune or change of 
circumstances should change the present disposition of the enemy or 
the Marquis's army. After the hurry of spirits which usually attend 
a precipitate flight were over, I have enjoyed some pleasant hours with 
my friends, amongst others, a few happy days at your Father's, who 
I was glad to find enjoying fine health, after being many years without 
seeing him. Tho' I was the less surprised at it, after experiencing the 
salubrious air of his fine seat, not to be exceeded by any Montpelier in 
the universe. I wish you would hasten peace, that you may return to 
the influence of it upon your crazy constitution. In this happy retire- 
ment I regret nothing but the dearth of news. Your last favor was 
the 29! h of May. There are probably others below which have not 
reached me. You have been at much pains to remove my objections 
to the mode of the Congress duty. I wish they may operate as forcibly 
upon those whose duty it is to give effect to the measure, as on me, 
who tho' I think them still founded on propriety in general, must 
yield to the necessity of giving stable credit to Congress so far as 
their engagements require, which greatly overweigh in consequence 
any possible inconvenience on the other side. I am not overjealous of 
power, but my creed is to withhold from no public body so much as 
is necessary to their appointment, and give them not an iota that is 
unnecessary. Upon this rule should I determine was it my province, 
upon our demand of Congress. It is time however I quitted this sub- 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 137 

ject by begging pardon of Congress for supposing these difficulties 
which had been so fully discussed, had escaped thera. 

You'll probably have by this post a much better account of the 
enemy than I can give you at this distance : when I last heard of them 
they were supposed to be between Williamsburg and York, and their 
light horse plundering in Gloucester. Their intentions whether to 
fortify at York, where their ships are, or leave us, or change the scene 
of devastion, not yet discovered. They have had a small skirmish 
which ended to our advantage, and I am told our militia are full of 
ardor for a battle. 

The profitable trade opened with Spain and the metallic returns give 
a flattering prospect of having our finances on a better footing, and will 
soon abolish our paper and all inconvenience and iniquitous specu- 
lations upon it, towards which Mr. Morris bank appears to me a 
promising aid. Our Assembly have stopped the circulation of the old 
notes, except to the Treasury, and even the new 1 for 40 are not to 
be issued but by order of the Executive ; I wish they could also have 
avoided the expedient of emitting more State money. 

Pray what are the powers of Europe doing? are they holding a 
Congress at Antwerp? or has the contest between France and Britain 
whether America shall have a Plenipo there, or be entirely excluded 
from any consideration in the pacific plan, put an end to it ? 

Edm" Pendleton. 

Caroline, 23 July, 1781. 
Dear Sir, — My last to Mr. Jones informed you of my return 
home from a fugitive trip of near two months, which however I spent 
very agreeably among my friends above, after the retreat of Lord 
Cornwallis had quieted the minds of people in that quarter. I found 
my property here had escaped the enemy, though some small depreda- 
tions were committed by my domestics or neighbors, perhaps both. It is 
strange that I don't yet know the present situation of the enemy, tho ? 
we hear daily from our army. One day Lord Cornwallis was on 
shipboard, going to England in disgust; the next going or gone to 
New York to take the command in the room of Sir Harry, who had 
sailed for England: at one time his infantry were divided, half gone 
with the light horse to Carolina, and the other to Portsmouth. Now 
we are told the whole infantry are at Portsmouth, and the cavalry at 
Petersburg, a few days ago, on their return from Amelia, where they 
have been plundering; so that nothing certain can be collected from 
this loose account. Perhaps these may be thrown out for amusement, 
whilst they mean to draw the Marquis over James River and then 
come up Rappahannock or Potowmack, and ravage easily. I should 
have no thought of their leaving this State, if it were not for an idea 

18 



138 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

that New York is to be invested by the commander in chief, which 
may call this detachment to its defence. We have a loose account of 
an action near Kingsbridge, in which we had the advantage, but no 
particulars. 

Augusta is certainly taken, and Gen'l Greene since his retreat having 
collected his various detachments, returned upon Lord Rawdon. We 
have a report (not to be relied on indeed) that they have met and had 
a warm conflict in which his Lordship had 300 killed, wounded and 
taken. 

It is also said that the Spanish fleet since the surrender of Pensa- 
cola has been seen at Tybee, supposed to intend expeditions against St. 
Augustine and the Savannah at the same time. Our troops from 
Charles Town are arrived at James Town, and all the privates tho' but 
few officers, exchanged. The ranks muster thin, many having been 
induced by the usual artifices of threatening, wheedling and 1 — y — g 
to inlist with the enemy, out of whom they have formed a fine regi- 
ment which is gone to the West Indies. 

I believe the account given in the Pennsylvania Packet of the re- 
inforcement to Charles Town was just, and that they did not amount to 
more than 1500; those it seems were in very ill humor, and about 60 
or 70 soon got killed on their march, the rest became very sickly. 

We shall now listen for intelligence from your quarter, as very 
interesting events are in embrio there. What is become of the 
European Congress, and the fleets and armies of our allies in the West 
Indies, Cadiz and Brest, &c? . . . 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Edmundsburt, 6 August, 1781. 

My dear Sir, — Judge of my anxiety at having passed two long- 
long weeks without a line from you or my friend Jones's at so critical 
a juncture, when we hear a busy and important scene has opened to 
the north. The disappointment one week has been accounted for by 
the loss of the mail in or near Wilmington, the other I hope did not 
proceed from your sickness, as I recollect it was your turn, since I 
would rather it should have any other cause. Perhaps the danger of 
the mail may make it improper to communicate any intelligence at such 
a time. If so, continue your silence, as I would forego that or any 
other pleasure rather than risque the smallest injury to the cause. 

The enemy we are told remain here, their vessels some in York 
River and others in Mock-Jack Bay. They have landed in York 
and Gloucester, and are plundering; whether that or a more extensive 
plan be their design we are yet to learn. In the meantime the 
Marquis is on the branches of York River, watching their motions, 
expecting for some time past they intended up Potowmack, or up the 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTEKS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 139 

Bay to Baltimore or the head of Elk, and inclining his march north- 
ward on that account, to divert which may be the design of the enemy 
in their last landing. 

Nothing to be depended on hath been handed us from General 
Greene since the collecting his scattered detachments had enabled him 
to look the enemy in the face. You have probably better intelligence 
of him than we. Our militia keep the field, and perform their regular 
tours of duty with alacrity, and I fancy the enemy find recruiting a 
dull business here. Our crops are promising and I hope we shall be 
able to feed the army and those who have met devastion from the 
enemy. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Edmundsbury, August 27, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — Finding on my return from a visit your kind favor of 
the 14 l . h with one from Mr. Jones of the 7l h and not recollecting which 
I wrote to last, I determined to pay my respects to both by this post, 
without expecting an answer but in the ordinary rotation. 

We had begun to flatter ourselves with a quiet fall from the depar- 
ture of the British troops, when we heard of their embarkation, but it 
has vanished upon their relanding and shewing their purpose of taking 
a stable post at York and Gloucester Towns. Whether this extraordi- 
nary measure was intended to deceive the Marquis into some security 
which might give them an advantage, or that they really had a purpose 
of going elsewhere, which was changed by circumstances, must be left 
to mere conjecture until they or time shall discover their secrets. Their 
stay, however, must prove either that they think neither N. York or 
Charles Town want their assistance, or that they would pursue their 
prospects here at the risque of those. What I know of their and our 
situation I have mentioned to Mr. Jones, but doubt not you have better 
accounts of it from camp. 

The recapture of the fleet conveying the Statia plunder, is a very 
agreeable piece of intelligence. I am sorry it was accompanied by one 
of a very different aspect, the removal of Mr. Necker, whose distin- 
guished abilities and integrity in discharging the most important office 
in his nation, have been celebrated even by its enemies. However, 
men are frail, and all courts have intrigues, and from one or both of 
those sources was his fall derived. 

We have been so often disappointed in accounts of fleets coming to 
America, that I have learned to pay little attention to any report of 
that kind, otherwise I should think the ships at Hispaniola might make 
a safe and useful excursion to the American coast during the hurri- 
cane months, should they do so they will be welcome guests however 
unexpected. 



140 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Feb. 



The separation and independence of the people of Vermont is a very 
serious and unlucky affair, which I wish there had not been occasion for 
Congress to decide on. The people had great reason to complain of 
injustice, from which they appeared to have no prospect of relief but 
in a separation from the State of New York, whose government had 
done them the injury ; and yet to divide a State at the request of -some 
members of it, against the will of a majority, or indeed admitting a 
power in Congress to divide at all, will establish a precedent that may 
prove a source of much mischief at some future period. This business 
like agrarian laws which please the poor and chagrin the rich, will 
probably be pleasing to the small States and disgusting to the large, 
and so produce dissensions amongst us. However, as it is ever good 
policy when evils are inevitable to choose the lesser, these objec- 
tions may be greatly overweighed by those inconveniences which would 
attend the rejection of their petition, and may justify Congress in the 
step they take. A case like this may never happen again ; yet prece- 
dents of power especially, are of such a ductile nature, as to be ex- 
tended to any purpose a majority shall wish. I suppose our friend 
Etham will be one of the first Vermont members. 

The brave general Campbell of our militia, who commanded at 
King's Mountain came ill from our camp, and died last Wednesday in 
Hanover, much lamented as a valuable officer and man. Morgan is 
also gone home sick. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, September 10, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — Very little important hath happened here, at least that 
has come to my knowledge, since the great event of the arrival of the 
Fleet and army of our good ally in Chesapeake. It was supposed that 
Earl Cornwallis would on their arrival have endeavored to effect an escape 
to the southward over James River ; but whether the precautions taken 
by the Marquis to prevent him, or his confidence in his own strength, 
or in being timely reinforced, influenced his stay, I know not ; but so it 
is that he must now abide his fate at York Town, the French troops 
having landed at James River and joined the Marquis, so as to cut off 
his passage out of that neck so long as he is deprived of the dominion 
o'er the waters ; and tho he might cross his army over into Gloucester, 
where we have a body of militia, he could not that way expect to 
escape, since tho they are not strong enough to oppose his way in the 
field, they might harass their march, until a sufficient force could get 
above them, and take them in that neck ; but this I think they will not 
attempt, since by such a step they would immediately sacrifice all their 
vessels, which at present lie up York river above the town. 

I hear that a party of mititia a few nights ago took a small picquet 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 141 

and eight light horsemen between Williamsburg and York, since which 
it is said they have called in all their picquets, and keep their swarm 
of negroes busily employed in intrenching and fortifying. I suppose 
they have gleaned all the provisions in that neck ; in Gloucester our 
militia have removed most of the stock and disrobed the mills in their 
neighborhood, so that they will draw little supplies from thence, and I 
think can't have any considerable stock. Deserters say they are pro- 
vided for six weeks only. We hear a large number of men are coining 
hither from the northern army. Our mills are impressed to grind for 
them and our allies, but a remarkable drought render most of them 
in these parts useless. We have accounts from the southward, that 
General Green's army was moving towards the enemy on the 18th past, 
which, if true, indicates an increase of his strength or diminution of 
that of the enemy, since on the 15th. his army was only thought able 
to act on the defensive. We expect here to have a busy autumn, sup- 
posing this is to become the seat of war, since the Commander in Chief 
is to honor us with his presence ; we are daily in expectation of his 
arrival by land, tho we are told the troops come by water down the 
Bay; I hope they will not meet with such a disappointment as the 
Marquis and his troops experienced in that voyage, tho we are told that 
the enemy give out that a superior fleet will soon drive off the French. 
Of such a fleet at New York we have various accounts, some say they 
are 29 sail of the line, others 23 only. If the former and they can 
all venture to leave that station, I judge that the prior possession our 
friends have of the Bay would quiet their apprehensions of danger from 
an attack. But can they venture to draw all their fleet from New York, 
and leave the French fleet behind them at Rhode Island ? I think 
upon the whole that we must have this army, which will go a good 
ways towards destroying their American force and give us peace. 

The French have Lord Rawdon, two colonels and some other British 
officers taken on their passage from Charlestown to London. 

Edmd Pendleton. 

Edmundsbury, October 8, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 18th past and felt the justice 
of your remark as to the benefits derived and in prospect to Virginia 
from the presence of the commander in chief and the fleet and army of 
our allies, whom we are exerting ourselves to feed, and hope they will 
not suffer in future. A little they have experienced, without murmur- 
ing. They meet every mark of respect they so justly merit and great 
cordiality prevails in the army. 

Don't you think our citizens are patriots indeed, who patiently sub- 
mit to have their provisions seized and paid for with a bit of paper 
called a certificate, when they might have specie for it from the French ? 



142 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

Some great men evade the seizure and sell, and this will occasion op- 
position and compel government to take just and equal proportions, 
which has hitherto yielded to official ease and convenience. These citi- 
zens, nevertheless, are the objects of certain cabals your way to do 
them injustice. 

Pigeon Hill, on General Nelson's farm near York, was strongly for- 
tified by the enemy, who gave out they would warmly defend it as an 
eminence which commanded the town. It was attacked about a week 
ago, and evacuated with little resistance, as was also another outpost on 
the river about a mile below, so that their whole force being within 
their confined wall, may be literally said to be drawn to a point, having 
little more ground than they can stand on ; I mean all their force on 
that side, for some yet remain in Gloucester, who under the command 
of Dundas and Simcoe, went out last week in search of plunder, but 
were driven back with some small loss by the French legion. 

We are told our great bomb battery was to begin to play last Satur- 
day, and that sanguine officers promised themselves a surrender in five 
days. The north and western winds have hitherto prevented the 
French from passing any ships above York, in consequence of which 
the British had the command of the river above, but as they were quite 
inactive, and a report prevailed that their vessels were unrigged, un- 
gunned and unmanned, we have carried provisions for the army down 
that river to Williamsburg, unfortunately a good deal of flour and corn 
were lately taken, and increased their stock of provisions. 

I am sorry to hear the Spaniards have again mounted their hobby 
horse, because our good friends must get behind them. However we 
cannot complain whilst we find our ally able and willing to give us such 
substantial assistance, that at the same time he can take an airing with 
another friend. But is it true that we are to reward this friend of our 
friend (for I believe that is all Spain pretends to) with a cession of such 
inestimable importance to us ? I really thought that matter had stood 
upon a resolution of our Assembly never to make that cession. I am 
now told they relaxed it so far as to leave our delegates at liberty to 
yield it, if they judged it necessary. It is said further that the Court 
of Spain never desired or thought of it, but it is one of the fruits of the 
cabal against Virginia, and by their contrivance the requisition was 
made by your minister to Spain. I always had a good opinion of that 
gentleman, and wish for the sake of his character as well as other 
reasons, it mayn't be true ; but if it is, his being recalled and sus. per 
coll. would be a small recompence to the public for such a conduct. 

I was in hopes the possession our friends had of the Bay would ere 
now have produced some vessels, particularly with salt, which we much 
want; but have not heard of any. Perhaps they may be below. 

Edmd Pendleton. 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 143 

Virginia, 3 December, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I thank you for your favor of the 13th. past. Of the 
territorial cession offered by Virginia I have perhaps already said too 
much and shall only add that if there were twenty clairaers of my land, 
and each offered a cession of their title without any consideration I 
should think it common prudence to accept them all, and thereby avoid 
the disagreeable necessity of deciding which of them was entitled to a 
preference ; nor can I conceive what harm the Virginia cession would 
have done the United States upon the supposition that New York had 
a better title. Whether our assembly have taken up this subject, or 
what they are doing I dont hear, except that I am told they have a 
great defaulter in a little officer under examination, who is accused of 
having pocketed £200,000 by shifting certificates and taking to himself 
the depreciation on them. It is Hopkins who is the Commissioner of 
the Continental Loan Office and has something to do in our Treasury. 
Conjectures are various upon the probability of his being acquitted or 
condemned. The Governor has resigned, probably vexed to see his 
great popularity so suddenly changed into general execration, for having, 
by his imprudent seizures, intercepted the specie that was about to flow 
amongst the people. That measure has proved in other respects most 
mischievous, a great quantity of beeves being carried below more than 
were immediately wanted, took the distemper which raged there many 
years ago, and began to die fast. Instead of killing and salting them 
up which remained, as would have been obviously right, they were 
driven off for Winchester to feed the prisoners, and I am told are dying 
daily and spreading the infection on the road. I hear, but not certainly, 
that Mr. Harrison, speaker of the Delegates., is elected Governor in 
General Nelson's stead. I have no doubt. but they will pay some 
handsome compliment to the Marquis so justly due to him, for the im- 
portant services Virginia experienced from him. And as she was so 
immediately interested in the great event at York, perhaps the As- 
sembly ought to extend their gratitude in thanks to the General and the 
army of our great allies who effected it. 

I have long given up Deane as an unworthy man whom I thought 
much otherwise when I served with him in Congress. I thought he 
was taking some steps injurious to America in an improper commerce, 
and thought avarice his greatest crime, not suspecting him of apostacy 
from our cause. There is one circumstance rather against the authen- 
ticity of these letters, that in case of a bargain with them they would 
not have exposed his letters. However, there is no reasoning from 
their blunders. I do not hear who is Governor of Pennsylvania ; does 
Mr. Reed retire, or is he in any active department ? Is Mr. Blair got to 
Philadelphia ? My compliments to him and the others. 

Edmd. Pendleton. 



144 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

Caroline, 19 November, 1781. 

Dear Sir, - — I am now to thank you for your favor of the 30th. 
past. The official returns of the conquest at York make our prisoners 
much more than was expected, and I think prove that Lord Cornwallis 
did not make so brilliant a defence, as his former military character in- 
dicated. However, any exertions would probably have been ineffectual 
to any other purpose than increasing his fame and sacrificing the lives 
of men on both sides. Our other acquisitions were considerable, and I 
am inclined to think should have been more so, if the generosity of our 
illustrious general in the terms of the capitulation, had met a suitable 
degree of honor in the execution on the part of the enemy. As these 
officers must carry the proof, tho' not the first tidings of this change in 
their American affairs to the Parliament, I anticipate with pleasure the 
effect it will have on their deliberations, and the long faces which will 
appear on the ministerial side of the House. Is it possible they can 
retain a wish and much less coin a plausible reason for continuing such a 
war? 

I find your brood committee have at length hatched a report, and 
though it seems probable from circumstances that it may not be agreed 
to at present, yet what is the consequence ? It will I suppose lie on 
your table and be ready for all the operations of intrigue, party and 
finesse. Our Assembly had not formed a House when I last heard from 
Richmond, which gives no good presage of the wisdom of the session. 
I cordially wish they may disappoint the omen, and verify the old 
adage by giving proofs of wisdom and stability equal to their slowness. 
I am sure much is required of them at this juncture, particularly to 
meet this torrent of unfriendly dealing in a proper manner, without giv- 
ing hope to the enemy of a disunion, which might protract the war. 

As we have not a confirmation last post of the capture of Rodney's 
fleet, I am afraid it was premature. I am told the Count de Grasse 
has at last sailed, but hear nothing of the British Fleet, which may be 
gone out of his way. 

We have a loose report that General Greene has had a battle and 
been defeated in consequence of a considerable reinforcement lately 
arrived at Charlestown, but it does not come so as to deserve credit any 
more than one of a contrary nature, that they have evacuated Charles- 
town. 

Edmd Pendleton. 

Virginia, 31 December, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — Since my last Mr. Jefferson's honorable acquittal of 
the loose censure thrown out at random on his character, hath come to 
my hand, which I doubt not you'll have published in one of the Phila- 
delphia papers, that this stain may be wiped out wherever it may have 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 145 

reached. I am assured by a member of the assembly that it was 
entered unanimously in the House of Delegates, and he believes in the 
Senate, tho' the clerk has omitted it in my copy. 

I am told Gen 1 Nelson will also receive a vote of thanks and appro- 
bation of his conduct, from a conviction that what he did wrong was 
imputable to a mistake in his judgment, and not from a corrupt heart. 
I am satisfied of the integrity of his mind, but whether that should 
in title him to more than indemnity, I doubt. However, I have no 
uneasiness at their going further. 

The business of finance hath at length ended in a bill for funding all 
our paper, which ceases now to be a tender, and is to be brought into 
the treasury before October next and burnt. Certificates are to be 
given in specie at 1 for 1000, payable in 1779 (sic) and to bear interest 
in the meantime. All former payments are to stand as made, but a 
scale of depreciation is fixed for adjusting all subsisting money contracts. 
A rider was added by the delegates to compel the receipt of all paper 
tendered and refused, but it was thrown off by the Senate, as mounted 
to serve the particular purpose of a Delegate. 

The scheme of taxation is one per ct. on lands, 10 /on slaves, 2/ on 
horses, and 3? on cattle, also 1 per ct. on all goods imported. The 
law for impowering Congress to lay their tax is suspended, upon infor- 
mation that other States had not acceded to it. The Governor, how- 
ever, is impowered to give it force again, upon receiving proofs of the 
agreement of a majority of the States to the measure. They have 
thanked all the officers, and particularly the Marquis, to whom they have 
voted a bust, but have done nothing in the recruiting business or West- 
ern country, and it is thought will not, as they mean to adjourn in a 
day or two, if they can keep a house even for that time. Mr. Jefferson, 
I am told, declines coming to Congress, nor do I learn that they pur- 
pose choosing another in his room. 

Edmd. Pendleton. 

Who commands at New York ? Does Sir Harry, continue, or obey 
the order for his recall ? 

Virginia, 28th. January, 1782. 
Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 8th. The objections your 
bank was to encounter had not occurred to me, since if such a measure 
was useful, it seems necessary that Congress should have power over 
the regulations which were to direct its operations, it being of general 
and not local concern, and as the confederation had not given such 
a power, the medium adopted appears to be the proper and indeed the 
only resource : to call for the individual confirmation of the States, to 
the granting which I see no possible objection, but on account of the re- 
striction in your scheme upon the institution of State banks, which at 

19 



146 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

some future day may become useful and necessary. Whatever evils 
may have been experienced, and ever will be, from a redundancy of 
paper credit, yet my opinion is that the history of all countries as well 
as the reason of the thing prove that the circulation of a moderate quan- 
tity of paper may be made in every country without danger of depre- 
ciation and with many advantages to commerce and business even 
superior to the precious metals. Its locality, the principal source of 
objection, has its use in preventing that stagnation in a circulating 
medium, which in the flux and reflux of the metals will unavoidably 
happen, especially since the merchants have practiced the import and 
export of these as a subject of trade, as they rise at one market and 
fall at another, instead of a mere medium or representative of balances 
in barter. Of all kinds of paper circulated as the representative of 
money, that of a bank has undoubtedly the preference, because it has 
a real constituent, a stock of cash deposited and kept always ready to 
take its place when any foreign purpose shall make it necessary ; 
whereas if we were asked what our late paper represented, candor 
would compel us to answer, what it has come to, nothing. I can fore- 
see that when the mass of paper is totally annihilated, and before a 
general free trade takes place, we may be distressed for a sufficient 
medium of commerce, and might prefer a bank scheme to any other, 
and why should we be restrained ? If it be said that the States might 
increase their bank so as to answer the purposes of all the States in the 
union, I answer that a general and equally valuable circulation of bank 
notes can only prevail to a certain distance from the bank ; as the diffi- 
culty of access to that is increased, so will the value diminish, till a 
total stop is put to its circulation. For instance, suppose a man at 
Charlestown with a bank note applying to a foreign merchant to pur- 
chase goods, he would refuse it, since in vain would the holder say you 
may have gold for it by going to the bank, since that would require 
another voyage, not a very short one, to accomplish. In Philadelphia 
the note would be taken with avidity. The notes of the Bank of Eng- 
land circulate indeed to a great distance, but so does the trade which 
centers in London ; and yet that Bank has no such exclusive restric- 
tions. A multitude of other banks subsist, and with other mediums 
supply all occasions of commerce without experiencing inconvenience. 
That is not the case in America. Philadelphia is not nor ever will be 
the center of its trade, tho' a considerable branch, and remittances from 
the different States will be much oftener wanted to other parts thau 
to that city. 

I hope the States will comply with the recommendation respecting 
the forfeiture of British goods, since 'tis a most ungrateful and impolitic 
abuse of the kindness of our allies to throw the money they so gen- 
erously supply us with, into the hands of their and our enemy, to the 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 147 

neglect of their trade. Wisely and prophetically did honest General 
Gadsden say to Congress in 1774, " Take care, or your liberties will be 
traded away." 

By letter just received from Gen! Greene's camp of the 28th. past, 
I find he was alarmed for his situation, having certain and authentic 
accounts that the Cork fleet with 4 regiments of infantry, and two of 
dismounted dragoons, victuallers and store ships, and 3 regiments from 
New York, were seen on the coast going in Charles Town, which would 
give the enemy a superiority that would oblige him to abandon the 
country to their ravages, or sacrifice the remains of his brave little army 
— a dreadful alternative. 

Edmd. Pendleton. 

Virginia, February 11, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I have missed two posts to get a letter from you, which 
proceeds from the Susquehannah being frozen which stopped the pas- 
sage of the post ; the mail, however came to Fredericksburg last week, 
but only brought an old letter from Mr. Jones. 

We have been amused with contrary reports concerning the arrival of 
a large reinforcement to the British Army at Charles Town, Genl. 
Greene's account of them amount near 5000, has since been contra- 
dicted by officers from his camp, who say no troops came from Ireland, 
and all who got there were the 3 regiments from New York. I yet 
think these gentlemen were under a mistake, and that Greene's relation 
was too well founded. We are just now told by a gentleman from 
Philadelphia, that the enemy had certainly evacuated New York. I 
am impatient to have a confirmation of this, and to hear their destina- 
tion, which 1 suppose either to the Southern States, or to the West 
Indies. We are just going to celebrate this anniversary of the General's 
birth, and so cannot add but that I am &c. 

Ed. Pendleton. 

Virginia, 25 February, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 7th. and regret the irregu- 
larity of the post which has deprived me of some and delayed others of 
your agreeable letters. However I comfort myself with the reflection 
that the frosty season is nearly over, and that our correspondence will 
soon become more regular as well as interesting. I shall anxiously ex- 
pect every future post to bring some accounts of the effects in Europe 
of the great event at York, which I think the first arrival from that 
quarter must certainly bring. Nothing of the sort has yet reached us. 
We have a loose report of a severe engagement between General Greene 
and the Enemy, in which both sustained great and pretty equal loss, but 
it wants credibility and probability. We are making our drafts to 
reinforce him. 



148 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

I wish you out of the thorny tract into which the Vermontiese have 
led you ; I fear they are more like to produce that kind of fruit than 
olives, and may require severe amputation. Why should any alteration 
be made at present in your scale of contribution for each State ? Since 
it is in its nature temporary and subject to adjustment according to 
that rule which shall be established when peace shall afford time and 
opportunity for a proper investigation. The attempt now to change 
the rule which can't be made definitive, if it is not suggested by some 
party views, is calculated to produce dissensions, of which we have 
enough. If indeed the rule could now be finally fixed, it might be 
probably done with more temper than when we are freed from the 
dread of a foreign enemy, and I am persuaded that it would have been 
more justly and peaceably settled in 1776, as was intended by Congress 
the year before, than it can be now, or at any future period, as the true 
spirit of union was then more predominant than it has been since, or 
will be. But as it was then put off, and a mode adopted subject to a 
future account and regulation, I cannot think it prudent to change that 
mode for another temporary one. In the meantime, I do not see why 
the accounts should remain unexamined ; the several articles furnished 
by each State may be examined by the vouchers and fairly entered in a 
general account with that State, and be ready whenever the proportion 
is fixed, to form the aggregate sum to be proportioned, when in one 
article each state may be debited for its share, and the balance dis- 
covered. If this minutiae of the account is neglected till the end of 
the war, I prophecy it will never be settled, but like the contents of 
the Irish treasurer's waggons, will afFrighten Congress out of the at- 
tempt, especially as it will probably be the interest of some states to 
drop all accounts and to burn the books, as the saying is. Since I am 
reduced to the borrowing an expression from old Bonniface, it is time to 
stop, and tell you that I am &c. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 11 March, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I am to thank you for your favor of the 25^ past, in 
which you have removed my objections to the bank scheme by proving 
that it was founded in error. The King of Britain's speech and its 
doubted echo, do not breathe the spirit of peace with America, yet I 
think they tread that ground very tenderly, and suddenly fly off at a 
tangent to the East Indies in search of a subject of consolation. If 
your intelligence be true respecting the present state and prospect of 
their affairs in the West Indies, I think no success they can have in the 
east will save them from the necessity of peace. 

I have a letter of the 24^ January from Gen! Greene's camp at 
Jacksonborough, 36 miles west of Charles Town. All was quiet, and 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 149 

no reinforcement to the enemy. What gave rise to the report of such, 
was the return of some convalescents who had been to New York to 
better their health. The Assembly was then sitting and had passed a 
law for confiscating British property, and that of the Tories who had 
joined and remained with the enemy. Most of those of note who 
had taken protection, have joined us, and some of the refugees to 
Charles Town have shipped themselves and property to Britain, an 
omen that they at least have small hopes of being relieved. 30 sail 
of ships under convoy of a frigate had just sailed with that sort of 
cargoe. 

I have no doubt but the debates on the speech and addresses must 
be entertaining. The event at York was too good a subject for the 
opposition to gall administration with, for them to let slip, and no doubt 
they shone in it, though they cut no figure in the vote. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, April 15, 1782. 
Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 2 d . and agree with you that 
the expostulations of the friends to Virginia will be properly interposed, 
and the clamors of her enemies well applied, if both together will effect 
the rousing her to proper exertions for recovering her consequence in 
the united scale. The executive have paid attention to this important 
subject, and having an empty treasury have circulated a request for the 
prompt advance of half the land tax payable some months hence for 
the purpose of recruiting our line. Our County, which yields to none 
in alacrity on such occasions, appear willing to comply, but from con- 
versing on the subject with several gentlemen, it is the general opinion 
that there is not in the county specie sufficient to pay ^th of that 
tax, and I see no prospect of our being able to pay it at the time, tho' 
specific commodities where the alternative is allowed (as is the case in 
all but the land tax) may be had. The little cash which is picked up 
by us at the distance we are from the French army, immediately goes to 
the merchants at Port Royal or Fredericksburg, who chiefly trade on 
commission from the Eastern States, whither I suppose it is sent, for 
we see it no more, very few of them offer to buy our commodities, aud 
when they do, ? tis at such a price that only makes us angry. Tho' 
there is some reason for complaint against Virginia, yet the clamors 
are carried to excess in respect of her line ; she has contributed more 
than her proportion of men, and formerly devoted herself to exertions 
in the cause, to the neglect of trade, which other states pursued with 
avidity not consistent with their proportion of duty. This circumstance 
which enables them to vaunt and show away now at the 11th hour, pre- 
vents the present resources of Virginia to recruit her line when by an 
ill-judged inclination to save Charles Town, a respectable corps of 



150 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

them were lost; however we must bear these insults with patience 
till time shall enable us to prove that the resources of Virginia, tho' 
they can't be called forth at any moment, are great and permanent, 
and that we never want inclination to employ them for the common 
interest. 

Reports continue of the evacuation of Charles Town, and the last is 
said to come from the frigate arrived as an express from Count de 
Grasse to C* Rochambeau, with the additional circumstance of the 
troops being carried together with a detachment from New York to the 
West Indies. You'll have a better account of these things than we can 
have, as also whether there be grounds of truth in other accounts cir- 
culating here, that Jamaica and Antigua are both invaded by our ally, 
and their troops here called thither, at the same time that the Marquis 
d' Fayette is arrived at Boston with 4000 others. 

Mr. Jones tells me he is coming away and the future burthen of my 
correspondence will fall upon you. Should any letter to him reach 
Philadelphia after he leaves it, you'll consider it as addressed to you. 
Our Elections run much into new members, amongst others are Monroe 
and John Mercer, formerly officers, since fellow students in the law, 
and said to be clever. The Attorney might as well have stay'd with 
you. The General Court sat but six days on criminal business only, 
and I am told very little will be done in the other courts the approach- 
ing terms. Our Treasurer, Col? Brooke, died suddenly last week, I 
suppose with an apoplictic shock. I have not heard who is his 
successor. 

Edm 1 ? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 22 April, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — Taking up the pen to acknowledge the receipt of 
your favor of the 9th. an idea struck me that I had written to you last 
week, again transgressing the routine which intitled Mr. Jones to that 
letter ; should it have been so, and he then and yet remaining in Phila- 
delphia, pray present him my compliments, and tell him it was the un- 
intentioned defect of a bad memory ; perhaps I ought rather to apologize 
to you in giving you more trouble than was your share. 

I am sorry fortune sent the frigate into Rhode Island instead of the 
Chesapeake, as her cargo is a scarce commodity here ; however her es- 
cape and safe arrival any where, is matter of joy; as is the account of 
her companions from Brest, of whom I think we shall soon hear some- 
thing agreeable. The discovery of a mistake in the capitulation of 
Brimstone hill pleased me much, as the copy I first read, correspond- 
ing with that of the Spaniards in Florida struck me with astonishment, 
which almost shook my faith and confidence in our noble ally, which 
their liberal and generous conduct however preserved, and made me 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 151 

suppose some latent cause had produced it rather than an intention to 
let them loose upon us to whom they had given so very material assist- 
ance. If the omission was a designed fraud at New York, it was a 
cobweb artifice of an hour, too contemptible almost for Hottentots. 

I am glad the trade intended to be commenced under cover of flags 
to supply the prisoners is so early detected. I believe it was pretty 
extensively carried on here, formerly at Charlottesville, and tended 
to poison the minds of the people in that neighborhood by the circula- 
tion of those charms, specie and British goods. Pray what is the effect 
of the discovery ? Does it forfeit the vessel and whole loading, or only 
the unlicensed goods ? Or rather do Congress mean to insist on the 
former, which I fancy the laws of nations intitle them to, or be content 
with the latter. Perhaps I say Congress improperly, since it may be 
the State of Pennsylvania who are to determine upon it. It may be 
well, should any come here, to have uniformity in the decisions upon 
the subject. Governor Rutledge and Col? Jervais passing lately to 
Congress, I am told have contradicted the reports of the evacuation of 
Charles Town. From them you'll have had an account of things in 
that quarter, about which we have had many conjectures and dreams, 
the amusements of a day. 

Mr. Jacqlin Ambler is our treasurer in the room of Col Brooke. 
Empty as the strong box is, I am told there was a warm contest for 
this office, and Mr. George Webb is much chagreen'd at the disap- 
pointment of his nephew Mr. Foster Webb, a clever youth in business, 
but too young for the dignity and importance of that office. Mr. 
Ambler is well esteemed and I think will be confirmed by the assembly. 
Some elections since my last seem to mend the representation, which I 
hope will be better than I then feared. 

You'll probably hear that in Caroline we have chosen a Tory, and 
other epithets added to it in Mr. Gilchrist of Port Royal. He is a 
Scotch man, " the very head and front of his offence hath that extent, no 
more." Against which we have only to urge in our justification that 
he came from that country a youth, has been in Caroline upwards of 40 
years, married and realized all his property (which is very consider- 
able) in the County, and for upwards of 30 years has been an active, 
vigilant and upright magistrate, as well as of irreproachable life in the 
character of a private citizen, which 19/20ths of the County (foolishly 
it seems) thought sufficient to purge the sin contracted by his birth in 
that hostile country. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 13 May 1782. 
My dear Sir, — The last of your favors I have to acknowledge is 
that of April the 23?, a subsequent one I missed hitherto, as I was not 



152 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

returned from Richmond when the post rider passed my house, and he 
carried it there ; but I had left that place before his arrival, and must 
wait his return for the pleasure of receiving it. I am however in more 
anxiety for your next as I expect in that confirmation of a piece of news 
which has been brought from your city, that has almost intranced us, no 
less than our darling Independency having been acknowledged by Par- 
liament : a measure so pleasing and important, and at the same time 
so unlooked for at this juncture when the ministry had menaced a more 
vigorous prosecution of the war than ever, that we scarce can give 
credit to repeated assertions of its reality, by several credible passengers 
from thence, and I must wait two days more till I shall have from you 
an account I can depend on. If it be so, and a general peace not in 
treaty, it will become us to be on our guard, since they must mean 
whilst continuing the war against our good ally, to try every art of 
corruption to detach us from them, and endeavor to seduce us into a 
separate peace, a more certain destruction than their arms could ever 
have brought upon us ; but on this head I am not uneasy, since it 
being impossible that any friend to America can make a proposition of 
that sort, I hope the uttering such a sentiment will be considered as 
marking the author for an enemy, and stop his influence. 

Whether this great event has taken place or not, our eyes must be 
turned to the West Indies, as the great theater for playing this cam- 
paign ; whether it will be a real tragedy which may decide the fate of 
the war, or a repetition of the farce acted for two or three seasons 
in the British channel time must decide ; in the former case we have 
much to hope from the superiority of our allies. . . . 1 

Virginia, 20 May, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 7* brought me the debates iu 
Parliament on which I suppose had been founded the story mentioned 
in my last of their having acknowledged our independence, a weak 
ground indeed, but yet I conclude it is all they had. I wish you had 
given me your sentiments upon it, perhaps they might have placed the 
transaction in a more favorable light than it now appears to me in, 
which is that of a mere tub thrown out to amuse that whale, the 
present dangerous spirit of the nation, in hopes time may occasion it 
to evaporate, and ministry may still pursue their beloved object : for 
what does this last proceeding amount to, more than a resolution to 
suspend for a very precarious time active operations in America, that 
they may be more at leisure to make effectual war against France and 
Spain in other parts ? Oh yes, they are to make peace with us, and we 
hear that General Carleton is arrived with the necessary powers : what 
do they mean by talking of peace with us, and vigorous war with our 

1 Balance torn off. 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 153 

ally with whom we have solemnly engaged to make it a common cause ? 
Are they encouraged to this insult by any former instance of our 
perfidy, the tardiness of our ally, or the ill success of our conjunct 
efforts ? Let the unshaken firmness of America, the unbounded gen- 
erosity of France and the events of the war answer. This farce of 
peace then is only resolvable into that amusement before mentioned to 
allay the present ferment, without quitting the war ; let them take care 
however that it don't recoil upon them with double force at some 
future day, and let us not relax in our preparations for repelling any 
attack which may be meditated. I had yesterday from Richmond an 
account of a great naval action in the West Indies said to have been 
taken from an Antigua paper, the result of which is told me in two ways ; 
by one the French had 4 line of battle ships taken, and two sunk, 
according to the other only one was taken and one sunk, agreeing 
that Count de Grasse's ship the Ville de Paris was taken. The story 
is that the French fleet of 31 sailed to join the Spanish fleet, and were 
met by the British of 33, which they were compelled to engage to give 
the transports under their convoy an opportunity of escaping, the paper 
is silent whether that was effected, but it is said the French command- 
ant at York has written the Governor that the transports were safe, 
and speaks of the action rather as a bagatelle. I have hopes the 
Antigua Rivington may have exaggerated the British advantage, but 
fear the loss of that valuable officer and ship is too true. I am im- 
patient to hear the certain account and whether the French formed the 
junction with the Spaniards after the action. Mr. Tyler is speaker of 
the Delegates in opposition to Col° Lee. . . . l 

Virginia, 27 May, 1782. 
Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 14^ conveyed a very unexpected 
piece of intelligence in the entire revolution of the British ministry, an 
event which I once thought probable in the course of the struggles for 
the loaves and fishes, but in which the old appeared about the beginning 
of March to be gaining ground. The political conjectures here are 
busy, and much divided whether this change tends to peace or a more 
active and better directed war. As it is said Lord Shelburne is to 
direct the Cabinet and his opinion hath been uniform against our in- 
dependence, the prospect is bad. But as the spirit of the nation appears 
to be for peace at all events, and this spirit alone forced them into their 
present offices, I think they must adopt the measure, I have no 
doubt but they will endeavor to detach us from our allies by every 
seducing attempt ; but when they discover the spirit of Congress, firm to 
its engagements and resenting even the idea of the least departure 
from them, I think they will open a treaty that shall include our 

1 Balance of letter cut off. 
20 



154 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Feb. 



allies, and yielding the great point to us, put an end to a war the nation 
seems so averse to, unless some flattering circumstances in foreign 
treaties, or success in arms, should give a turn in their favor, of which 
there appears little probability, I am happy to hear, even from our 
lowest class of people, a becoming resolution not to purchase the 
peace they ardently wish, at the expense of breaking faith with our 
allies ; and all approve what you recommend, a preparation for con- 
tinuing the war to advantage, a conduct the most proper, even if we 
had a much better prospect of peace than we have, since it is best to 
treat with arms in our hands. 

If it shall become the inclination of the crown to acknowledge the 
independence of America, I imagine there will be little dispute about 
its Power. To remove the shackles with which Parliament had bound 
the prerogative to make peace and war, was the most constitutional and 
polite way of doing the thing, as well as the most likely means of re- 
instating the king in the affections of the people, since peace will thus 
appear to be his act, a circumstance he will probably pay some attention 
to now that he is in the hands of a Whig ministry. 

I hear nothing that our Assembly have done, but the refusing per- 
mission to some vessels which came from New York with passports 
from Congress to load tobacco under some contract with Mr. Morris, 
except so far as may answer the engagements of our commercial agent. 
What reasons influenced this negative I have not heard, but they must 
be strong to outweigh the respect due to Congress, our obligation to 
support the credit of the Financier-General, and our want of specie 
to support our part of the war. I wish resentment for the ill treatment 
we have lately experienced at Philadelphia may not have entered into 
the deliberations on this subject, though I have heard nothing of the 
sort. What will those men have to answer for who for their private 
emolument have fomented these divisions. I am told a petition is 
circulating and signing in the western country addressed to Congress 
and requiring to be a separate State, to which many there are very 
averse, which produces quarrels and bickerings amongst them. I wish 
our Assembly may turn their thoughts to the subject and endeavor to 
counteract the agents of this mischief, by a plan for administering justice 
and diffusing the other benefits of government to that remote region, 
until they shall be in a state of acting for themselves without injury to 
us, and let us separate by consent at such a period, remaining good 
neighbors. I want to hear the propositions Mr. Carlton hath to make, 
and the mode of conducting it as a matter of curiosity, more than from 
any hope of good to be expected from it. It was curious enough to 
want his Secretary to come to Philadelphia as a spy, or perhaps in a 
more dangerous employment. 

Edmd Pendleton. 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 155 

Virginia, 17 June, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 4 th brought a confirmation of the un- 
fortunate issue of the great naval conflict in the West Indies on the 12^ 
of April, unless we can suppose Adm! Rodney's letter spurious, no 
features of which I am able to discover, unless it be an uncommon 
modesty, for which they have not been very remarkable in such nar- 
ratives in the course of this dispute. We are yet told from Richmond, 
as handed to that place from Ct. Rochambeau, that de Grasse is not a 
prisoner tho' they have lost the ships mentioned ; but as Rodney's letter 
as to that point seems confirmed by the account brought to Baltimore 
by the vessel from Hispaniola, that the squadron, late under Ct. Degra-.se 
was to be commanded by Vauderille I think that valuable officer is a 
prisoner ; if this Baltimore account be true, I think we may soon hope 
to hear something agreeable from Jamaica, which may balance our 
former misfortune. 

I have a letter from Gen'l Greene's camp of the 18V 1 post, which men- 
tions the embarkation of 2 regiments, near 1000 men, from Charles 
Town on the 4*. h of that month, supposed for Jamaica. From whence I 
conjecture that the preparations at New York are for conveying troops on 
the like errand, unless they have some plundering plan to execute in 
America. There appears no intention in the garrison at Charles Town 
to evacuate it, or commence offensive operations. My poor nephew, 
Judge Harry, is miserable in his captivity there, confined in the Provost, 
afraid to take the air of his window lest some refugee should be at hand 
to shoot him. Gen'l Leslie has hitherto refused his parole, altho' Gen'l 
Greene has offered to pledge himself for his performing the terms of it ; 
the present behavior of the refugees might satisfy Leslie of the propriety 
of his breaking his former parole, if his letter to Lord Cornwallis had 
not been satisfactory. He was in bad health when taken, so that I 
suppose his situation and the approaching hot season, will soon put an 
end to all disputes about him, and gratify the wishes of his enemies, 
unless no death but that by their own hands will do so. 

We have had publication of the States General having acknowledged 
our independence and recognized Mr. Adams as public minister. If 
they have any foundation in truth, I suppose they only mean that the 
Province of Holland hath acceded to that measure; J3ut of this I doubt 
as you only mention that of Friesland : the whole was in a probable 
train, if the affair of April 12 t . h has not interrupted it. 

Your judicious decision upon the distinct powers of Congress and the 
State respecting the flags and passports for carrying tobacco to New 
York, is unanswerable, and I feel the propriety of our Assembly's joining 
in the necessary concert on this occasion, calculated to furnish a market 
for our tobacco, which we much want, and save so much specie to be 
sent off in discharge of our Continental proportion of expence. The 



156 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

principal objection (and what I understand influenced the Assembly) 
was a regard to our noble ally, who ' twas thought would see with resent- 
ment our tobacco going to the common enemy by consent of the govern- 
ing powers, a circumstance we cannot be too attentive to, from every 
consideration of justice and gratitude; but besides that the alternative 
of remitting the very money we possess from their generosity, could not 
be less displeasing, it is to be observed that they in a manner consented 
to this measure, when in the capitulation at York in which their general 
had a part, the British merchants were allowed to dispose of their goods 
here and of course tobacco must go to pay for them, since that was the 
only means. I heard a sensible member say that he would have consented 
to the measure, if the French minister had been consulted and approved it. 
The price (tho current here) was another objection, for say some gentle- 
men if our tobacco must go to the enemy, why should not we, rather than 
the United States have the whole price, which the enemy are willing to 
give. The very money lodged with M" Morris was offered to our gover- 
nor for tobacco at 30 / a hundred, provided this passport could be obtained 
to carry it to New York, and merchants here have declared publicly that 
with such a passport, they would give 40/ sterling. This is indeed a 
serious objection, for if in consequence of this restriction in trade we are 
to submit to a very low price for our staple, and must agree to waive it 
whenever Congress shall propose to do so, for the interest of the United 
States, we may easily suppose without breach of charity, they would 
soon make their financier a merchant to purchase up all our tobacco ; and 
whether they would in such case continue disinterested and proper 
judges to exercise the power of flags, is pretty easily determined. In 
a general view therefore such a proceeding could not be approved, but 
the inference is that in future we should avoid all occasions of this sort, 
by either making the trade free and open, or not allow it in any case. 
As to what is past, we purchased the goods under a public and author- 
ized capitulation, and are bound to pay for them ; we must do so in 
specie or tobacco ; it is more convenient to part with the latter at the 
current price than the former, and should have been willing but for the 
prohibition, to have let the C r . s carry the tobacco anywhere and make 
their profit. If Congress think they can without injury to the public 
allow the tobacco to go to New York, and take the profit the merchant 
would otherwise have, it would seem that Virginia is not injured, and 
the Union benefitted. But here lies the rub. If Virginia in payment 
of a debt to the enemy contracted with the approbation and under the 
sanction of the States, can avail herself of an high price for her produce, 
and Congress see no injury in exporting that produce (for this is ad- 
mitted in granting the passports) why should they withhold their sanc- 
tion to the export for the benefit of Virginia and compel her to purchase 
passports ; at the price of the whole profit ? Is not this making a merchan- 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 157 

dize of congressional powers? I write my thoughts just as they occur, 
and perhaps (like they say of the Assembly resolutions) my reasoning 
may be at variance with my opinion. Would not a compromise be most 
equitable ? Let the passports stand, and be assented to here. Let the 
States have the benefit of the profit as far as the money goes lodged 
with Mr. Morris (for that was gone from the State), and let Virginia 
have the best price she can get for tobacco for the residue of the debt, 
under the knowledge of these passports, and so let it end. I have 
given you too much trouble on this occasion and intreat y' pardon. I 
am happy to hear the former delegation to Congress is continued, as 
I suppose Mr. Jones and Mr. Att? have agreed to return. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 1 July, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I am sorry to find by your favor of the 18th past that 
the southern mail had been made prize of, and probably carried to New 
York. I don't remember the contents of my letter, but dare say it can 
produce no injury, public or personal, unless it be such to myself to be 
detected by those not so indulgent as my friend in being a dull un- 
meaning correspondent. If it had contained asperity of expression 
towards them I had been the more pleased with it. However, such as 
it is, let them make the most of it. 

Nothing amazes me so much as that we should be so long without a 
certain official account of the engagement in the West Indies, about 
which people here continue divided in opinion, and the event is the fre- 
quent subject of wagers : we are told that Mr. Harrison, your Com- 
mercial Agent, in that quarter, is lately arrived, and no doubt brings 
some account which may be depended on. They tell us a strange story 
from Baltimore,, that after the junction of the French and Spanish 
fleets at Hispaniola, they again separated and were gone, no one could 
say whither. 

I can't say whether our Assembly have adjourned, nor what they 
have done ? They were to have ended their session on Saturday, but 
did not, I believe. I fancy they have passed a law for raising our men, 
most other important bills I am told were put off till next session. 
We have had a long drought, yet our corn has suffered less than we 
expected. 

Edmd. Pendleton. 

Caroline, 29 July, 1782. 
Dear Sir, — I am sorry to find by your favor of the 1 6th that the 
robbers of the mail seem to be a regular trained band, who may prob- 
ably return to their station on this side Philadelphia, to divert the 
attention of those who may seek them. Should this be the case, they 



158 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

will have a bad bargain in mine, not worth the trouble of reading. The 
report of the burning and evacuation of Charles Town had reached us 
before yours came to hand, but I believe it came from the southward. 
Accounts from North Carolina speak of it as a thing in agitation rather 
than done, I mean the evacuation, for they say nothing of the burning, 
which I hope is not true. 

I am sorry poor Asgil is at last likely to suffer for another's crime ; 
however, the sacrifice is necessary, and just on our part, let them an- 
swer for the misapplication of the punishment, who alone might have 
saddled the right horse. 

The introduction of General Carlton's maxim at this time probably 
looks forward to an important event, in which I always supposed the 
interest of American loyalists would make a considerable point of dis- 
cussion. I wish he may prove prophetic in the period in which that 
event will take place, tho' perhaps we may differ widely in the grounds 
of his hopes. I am sorry for his proposition for exchanging prisoners 
in a mode which would enable them to employ them against our allies, 
and appropriate others to the war here, as it betrays an opinion on our 
part that they may still insult our understandings with impunity, if not 
with hopes of success. 

My nephew, Mr. Edmund Pendleton, Jr. has lately lost a young 
negro man about 22 years old, five feet, eight inches high, rather thin 
made, is a little bow legged, and has a down look when spoke to. He 
run away last summer, and having plundered a party of troops, they 
whipped him so severely that he lay up for two months, and retains the 
apparent marks of it on each shoulder. He reclaimed him twice from 
the French troops as they passed, and therefore suspects that he finally 
rode ahead of them in order to join them in Maryland and Pennsylvania. 
He stole a fine horse belonging to a M r Allan, and a valuable mare 
from a neighbor, but I can describe neither. Will you do me the favor 
by application to Count Rochambeau, or other French officers, to en- 
deavor to recover him, if he should have joined them, and in case you 
succeed to have him confined in gaol till my nephew can send for him, 
unless you can sell him for ,£200 specie, which though much less than 
he would sell for here, my nephew would rather take than be further 
troubled with him. The fellow's name is Bob. I have not described 
his dress, as he stole variety of clothes from different people. I would 
not have troubled you with this request, but knew not how otherwise 
to get the application made. 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Virginia, 12 August, 1782. 
Dear Sir, — Not having the pleasure of a letter from you last week, 
and little interesting intelligence here, my letter, as too frequently hap- 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 159 

pens, will be a very dull one. The French fleet hath left us, but the 
port it sailed from, as well as its destination are secrets to us. One of 
their frigates hath sent in a sloop of war taken from the British off our 
coast. Savannah is certainly evacuated, which I consider as a prelude 
to the abandonment of Charles Town. 

Pray is it true that the Dutch have a large fleet arrived at Surinam? 
And did they on their passage make prizes of 4 British ships of the line 
and 4000 troops bound to the West Indies? Such is the agreeable 
news our printers have given us, but not such proofs as are satisfactory. 

The torture of Col Crawford by the Indians to the westward I 
suppose was in revenge for the massacre of the poor Moravians by our 
people some time ago ; yet resentment for this will take place in our 
back people, and perhaps continue for years a scene of mutual blood- 
shed. 

A light rain or two which has fallen since my last have been of some 
service to our corn, but not sufficient to relieve us from our apprehen- 
sions of want in that article. A short crop of that and tobacco, will I 
believe be inevitable, and yet the merchants talk of giving us but two 
dollars pr. C' for the latter, which some necessitous people take on 
Rappahannock. On James and Pamunky Rivers they give 20/. 

Edm d Pendleton. 

Virginia, 19 August, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I thank you for your favor of the 16 th and for your 
promise to endeavor to reclaim my nephew's runaway slave : the cir- 
cumstance you mention will probably prevent the sale of him if re- 
covered, unless any of the French officers should take a faucy to him 
and purchase. I am told the Pennsylvania law has guarded against 
runaway slaves claiming the benefit of manumission by coming into 
that State. Policy makes such a regulation probable as well as justice, 
since the latter would restrain the making their State an asylum for 
their neighbor's property, and the latter forbid such an increase of these 
people upon their hands, who I am persuaded will be found not the 
most desirable kind of citizens. We have heard the slave was with the 
French army at Baltimore, and a man is gone thither after him ; if 
they had removed before he reached that town, he would pursue them, 
and I doubt not if he came to Philadelphia, and applied, but he had 
your assistance. 

We have nothing from the southward since my last but an entertain- 
ing anecdote respecting Gen 1 Wayne, who 'tis said suffered himself to 
be surprised by a body of Indians, to whom he abandon'd his camp ; 
the sight of the cannon and tents standing impressed on the minds of the 
savages an idea of our army's having gone off by stratagem and of 
their speedy return. In this tremor young Parker (who had rallied 



160 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Fi 



and marched back 25 infantry and 15 cavalry) attacked them, and they 
fled with precipitation, leaving not only our camp, baggage, &c. unhurt, 
but about 500 horses loaded with skins and furs, their own arms and 
other things. I am impatient for your next favor since I am told 
Genl. Carlton hath at length broke silence and communicated to Genl. 
"Washington a convention of ministers from the belligerent powers at 
Paris, who had nearly settled the preliminaries for a general peace, the 
great outlines of which, particularly, American independence, the resti- 
tution of places taken, and the rights of the Fishery had been adjusted 
and settled. We were no sooner possessed of this agreeable intelli- 
gence than a gentleman passed us said to be just arrived from Europe, 
and who tells that things were indeed in the above train at Paris, when 
an account having reached London of Adm 1 Rodney's success, a courier 
was despatched to Paris to stop the negotiation, and the convention 
broke up. In this uncertain state rests this great and interesting point. 
Surely the British ministry would not suffer so good a work on the 
point of completion to be stopped, because in the precarious events of war 
they happened just then to have gained some advantages, which they 
might soon lose with high interest. Be this as it may the crisis is im- 
portant, and my anxiety on fire till I know the event. May it be 
peace, provided it be a just and liberal one, which may give it a long 
duration. 

Edm d Pendleton. 
P. S. [Unimportant.] 

Virginia, 26th August, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 13^ gives great hope that peace is 
approaching fast. There are some circumstances unfavorable, such as 
the attention in the exchange of prisoners to their soldiers being at 
liberty to serve against our allies immediately, and against America after 
a year, and Gen'l Carlton's declarations convey an idea so flattering as 
to create suspicion of their sincerity. Yet the terms, after the vol- 
untary recognition of our independence, appear such as might be rea- 
sonable to all parties. For as to our part, as an individual, I declare 
my sentiments not to hesitate in restoring the confiscated property, 
either upon the ground of mistake in the original measure, or that the 
value of them bears no kind of proportion to the inconvenience of 
continuing the war ; even the expence and disappointments in trade 
would soon exhaust that subject, but I consider the life of our valuable 
citizen as greatly overbalancing the whole of it. It would therefore 
be my opinion to be as prompt in our concession to this, as Britain was 
yielding the great point; and as to the fishery, I suppose we do not 
require more than is offered. So that if our allies are satisfied, I see 
nothing in the whole prospect to interrupt the negotiation or prevent 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 1GI 

its conclusion. However, we should never lose sight of the caution 
impressed by the experience of all ages, to increase rather than relax 
our preparations for war to the last period of the treaty. 

We have been amused for some days with a report of a large fleet 
in our bay, and a heavy cannonade on their entry, which is said by 
others to be without foundation. How it is, I can't determine, nor 
was it ever said whether they were friends or enemies : three or four 
British deserters have appeared on James River, listed several slaves 
whom they armed from a magazine in Goochland, and then set fire to 
it. We have caught one of the slaves, who says they intend to destroy 
other magazines. A party is after the whole, and 'tis hoped they may 
be taken soon. 

It is my opinion that it would be wisdom on the part of Britain to 
yield Canada as a 14 1 ! 1 member of the union, since the event at some 
future period is more than probable, and a war may precede it; yet I 
cannot but consider the spontaneous hinting of it in the manner it has 
been done, as having a deep insidious intention on our integrity. To 
decide what would be right on that head in the treaty, independent of 
the interest of the contracting powers, would seem to be to leave it to 
the Canadians to choose the party they would be annexed to. 

I am much obliged, and so is my nephew by your attention to his 
runaway, his overseer has been out these 10 days in pursuit of him 
and is not returned. He was certainly with the French army at 
Baltimore where I hope the overseer will reclaim him. 

We have had some fine rains which have done much good, but 
were partial, and leave many parts of the State in distressful apprehen- 
sions of the want of bread. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 2 September, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I was disappointed in not receiving by your last favor 
of the 20^ past some intelligence from our foreign ministers respecting 
the great object which at present occupies all our thoughts. Their 
silence at such a crisis cannot be supposed, and therefore we must 
charge it to the capture of the vessels by which their letters were 
forwarded. Some of our fat Tories say there is a suspension of hos- 
tilities in Europe, and I am told there are some Irish cutters arrived 
here with cargoes who repeat the same thing. If this be true I should 
suppose it to be in consequence of the signing of the preliminaries to 
peace. I wish the good work completed. 

I wrote you my nephew had sent his overseer to Baltimore after his 
runaway slave. He concealed himself for two or three days, but made 
a friend amongst the attendants of the French army, who at length 
discovered the slave, and the overseer took him in an officer's tent who 

21 



162 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

had employed him as a servant. They attempted to rescue the fellow 
and threatened the overseer with sending him to the guard house, but 
as I had written to my friend Mr. Lux, requesting his assistance, he 
interposed and procured the release of the overseer, and delivery of the 
slave, not however till he agreed to pay 20 dollars for his maintenance, 
under pretence of an order of our governor and council, allowing them 
to demand of the owners of all the run away slaves a reasonable sum 
for their provisions. I never heard of such an order, but if there was 
such I am persuaded it related only to those taken from the British at 
the siege of York, and not to such as run away and join them in their 
march and are encouraged to do so by their secreting and protecting 
them from their masters. The overseer had lost his horse and went in 
pursuit of him, leaving the slave tied and handcuffed at Mr. Lux's, 
from whence he escaped and must have had some assistance. After 
two days' fruitless search he was obliged to return without him, having 
added to the loss of him that of a valuable horse, the 20 dollars, and 
other considerable expences. There are a number of other people here 
have lost their slaves in the same manner, and are in a very ill humor 
on the occasion. And as I am persuaded the principal officers in that 
army are no ways privy or consenting to such plundering, I have no 
doubt but that upon application they would all be delivered up, when 
they might be confined and on public notice the owners get them again. 
Otherwise, I expect that application will be made to our Assembly, 
and probably from them to Congress, which might lay the foundation 
of bickerings with our good friends, that would give me more concern 
than even the loss of my nephew's slave, tho' his circumstances do not 
make that a very light one, with the accumulated expences which have 
been consequent upon it. The overseer cannot tell, nor does Mr. Lux 
mention the name of the officer who extorted the 20 dollars, and had 
employed the slave as a servant, they only say he was a lieutenant. 
I wish I knew his name that you might point him out to the general. 
In the meantime it is possible the slave may have fallen into your 
hands, tho' he has practised every stratagem to conceal himself by 
denying his master's name, and changing his own, and his dialect : 
but the marks on his shoulders cannot be removed. If you have got, 
or shall get him, tho' I suppose a citizen of Pennsylvania can't pur- 
chase him by their laws, yet perhaps some transient persons, of whom 
there are many in the city may do so, as he is really stout and young, 
and until last year behaved very well, and my nephew will thank you 
to sell him for what you can get above £50, as he neither wishes to 
see him again, or to risque a further loss in his conveyance to Virginia. 
Our friend Mr. Jones is again returned to Philadelphia, and will I hope 
again relieve you from half the burthen of corresponding with, &c. 

Edm? Pendleton. 



1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 163 

Viirginia, 9 September, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — If the feelings of all my countrymen were as much 
wounded as mine are by your situation hinted at in your favor of the 
27th past, you would soon be in one more agreeable to yourself and 
honorable to your country. I can say no more on the hated subject. 

Since my last we have intelligence that my nephew's slave was re- 
covered and confined in Baltimore gaol. A messenger is gone for 
him, who I hope will be more successful in getting him home than 
former ones were. I fear my last may have given you some unneces- 
sary trouble as to him, though your interposition may have proved ser- 
viceable to others. 

The embarkations for Canada from Charles Town and New York, 
lately announced in your papers, have opened a new train of conjecture, 
upon a probable intention of Gen'l Washington to march into that coun- 
try, and many others which I won't trouble you with. In the mean- 
time I can't help feeling compassion for the poor repenting refugees at 
New York, and wish they may experience as much lenity as is con- 
sistent with justice and the general good of the States. No doubt the 
inhabitants of Jersey must possess the keenest resentment for the loss of 
their near and dear relatives, and injury to their property, but as it is 
the common calamity of war, and the former will not admit of specific 
restitution or compensation, there is more magnanimity in forgiving it 
than in revenging upon persons now in our power, what perhaps they 
did not perpetrate. As to the latter, something by way of fine in the 
mode of South Carolina, so as to bear upon their property, might not 
be unreasonable. I am sorry to observe the Pennsylvania Assem- 
bly entering so early a caveat against the restitution of confiscated 
property. Influenced no doubt by the magnitude of the proprietary 
interest, and the estates of some fat dons, and perhaps their mercantile 
interest may not lead to peace at all. But great as the value of those 
estates may be, I am persuaded the continuance of the war for a short 
time,, would in point of expence, and in the diminution of profit to be 
expected from a free and general trade, overbalance it, — I mean to 
the people in general. Some individuals perhaps owe their mushroom 
growth to the war, and must die with it. . . . 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Virginia, 14 October, 1782. 
Dear Sir, — Tho' this is Mr. Jones' turn, yet as you wrote last in- 
stead of him, to preserve order in the correspondence it is necessary I 
should acknowledge your two favors of the 24th. past and 1 st . instant, 
the former did not miscarry as I supposed, but by some blunder in the 
Post Office made a trip to Petersburg and returned to me. You know 
I am a stickler for order, and my friend Mr. Jones must excuse me. I 



164 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Feb. 



should fear his illness prevented his writing, but as you don't mention 
it, I impute it to some other accident. 

We are told the negotiations at Paris were still going on the latter 
end of July. Tergiversations conduct I should think, must alone be 
the cause of spinning it out to such length. The view in such delay 
can be only to await the events of the campaign aud the anecdote re- 
specting Mr. Grenville plainly enough designates the dilatory power. 
Truth could not be his motive in changing his position, since I have no 
doubt, if no unforeseen misfortune happens, but that the king will agree 
to our independence much sooner than be disposed to it. However 
their continuing the treaty gives reason to conclude that if no great 
change is produced on either side by this campaign, they will treat 
seriously at the close of it. For I think the nation as soon as the eclat 
of Rodney's victory shall have grown stale, will return to their demand 
for peace, which the king and his Premier will not be able to silence. 

From a view of things compared with y e last intelligence it seems to 
me that New York will be evacuated, that the 2000 Germans and 1200 
British lately arrived at Halifax, with the 1500 who went there from 
New York, will be sent to Canada to strengthen the defence of that 
country, and the rest of the army go to the West Indies. But in this 
conjecture I may wholly mistake their system. I hope the ships to the 
eastward are secure from .their attempts. Nothing can equal the gener- 
osity of our ally ; which is as permanent as it is beneficial ; one would 
suppose the late instance would inspire every American breast with the 
warmest gratitude, yet I am told that a letter lately written to this 
country by Dr. Lee, contains sentiments very different and makes 
much noise in the State, to his disadvantage not to that of the alliance. 
I wish the Indian incursions into our frontiers may be discontinued, 
but I agree with the sagacious sachem, that we have more to hope for 
from an opinion impressed on them of our power to hurt them, than 
from the tender mercies of the British king. I fancy there has been a 
smart rencounter with them in the Kentucky country, but the particu- 
lars are not ascertained. 

It is said that the vessels from Ostend, mentioned in my last, belong 
to some smugglers on the British coast, but I don't know the certainty 
of it. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

TO JOSEPH JONES. 

Virginia, 21 October, 1782. 
Dear Sir, — I am to thank you for your favor of the 8th. The 
turn formerly in dispute between you and Mr. Madison was yours ; 
his occupation of it, however, made none other difference than that it 
raised my fears of your having relapsed into your former illness, which 
Mr. Madison's silence in a great measure allayed. 






1905.] UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF EDMUND PENDLETON. 165 

The continuance of the negotiation after the last change of ministry, 
shews they do not care to lose sight of that object, and will probably be 
serious in it, at the close of this campaign, if nothing very fortunate 
for them should turn up in it. From Earl Shelburne's disposition or 
his masters, we have nothing to expect pacific to us ; but I think their 
situation and the spirit of the nation will coerce the acknowledgment 
of American independence. 

There is nothing material in the bill for peace or truce, since it only 
gives a (perhaps unnecessary) power to the king to make either with- 
out anything mandatory. Yet it's having lain so long with the Lords, 
and being passed just at the close of the session, together with the 
purging it of the offensive terms revolted colonies, gives it a conciliatory 
aspect. Whilst I am on the subject of peace, since in my last to Mr. 
Madison I mentioned that a letter of Dr Lee's abusive of the French 
alliance had made much noise here, justice to the Dr. requires that I 
should thus early declare T have since had a particular account of that 
letter, and find the clamor was without foundation, of which you'll 
please to inform Mr. Madison. 

I find your opinion coincides with mine as to the designs of the 
enemy in strengthening Canada, and bending the residue of their force 
against the West Indies. I hope our allies are prepared there for such 
an event, so as to disappoint any extraordinary fruits of their plan, 
which the superiority of the combined fleets in Europe, tho at a dis- 
tance [cut]. 

TO JAMES MADISON. 

Virginia, 28 October, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I have your favor of the 15 th I think Genl. Carlton 
fairly acknowledges the independence of America to be given up, when 
he can no longer discern the object of the war, however, as they evade 
making it openly, these by-hints can have none other design than to en- 
deavor to draw us into a separate treaty. As they know your resolu- 
tion on that head, it is time for them to determine upon a general peace 
or war, and act accordingly. The end of this campaign will probably 
fix them. 

If there be any truth in the French minister's intelligence from Bos- 
ton, there can be none in a story we have piping hot from Philadelphia 
of an action between the combined fleets and Lord Howe in the channel, 
in which the latter and 12 capital ships became prize to the former, to 
which story however I give no manner of credit. 

Edm? Pendleton. 



166 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Feb. 

Richmond, 8 November, 1782. 

My dear Sir, — Your favor of the 29th past gave me equal pleasure 
with one from our friend Mr. Jones in every other respect but that of 
the cause, his indisposition, which I feel sensibly as a friend and citi- 
zen, and hope it may soon be removed. The certain account we have 
of the evacuation of Charles Town, seems to have wiped away the im- 
pression intended to be made by Rivington's publication of a vigorous 
prosecution of the American war, being resolved on in the British Cab- 
inet, and seems to carry things to their former state, indicating a direc- 
tion of their force against our allies in the West Indies, or perhaps it 
may be meant to make a great naval effort in meeting the combin'd 
fleets in the neighborhood of Gibraltar. I wish they would be quiet, 
and let the negotiations go on, as Mr. Fitzherbert's commission will cer- 
tainly include us, if they choose to make it so, (as I think they will if 
the campaign ends without material alteration in the state of affairs 
amongst the belligerents), though it is couched in such terms as may 
let them out of that interpretation if any unlucky event to us, should 
turn up in their favor. 

I was particularly obliged by your observation which destroyed the 
credibility of the supposed letter from the Hague of the i 7th of August, 
since the mercantile interest appeared to have seized that story with 
avidity as an additional circumstance, placing the prospect of peace as 
at a great distance. 

Our legislature remain yet unformed, wanting three members of the 
Delegates to day to make a house, which 'tis thought will be completed 
to-morrow. Whether from their long, disagreeable, useless attendance, 
or from what other cause I know not, but they seem out of humor, and 
talk of impeachments of the executive, and of censures on Dr. L. The 
name of that gentleman constrains me once more to say that tho' I 
was misinformed as to the first account of his letter, yet I was equally 
or perhaps more so, in the account I mentioned to Mr. Jones, tho' I 
had it from a gentleman I thought I could depend on. Thus much I 
thought it my duty to say, lest you or Mr. Jones should entertain an 
opinion from my last letter unfavorable to my judgment or principles, 
and will give neither any more trouble on the subject. 

The great constitutional question, as it was called in our papers, and 
which I explained in my last to Mr. Jones, was determined in the Court 
of Appeals by 6 judges against two, that the treason act was not at 
variance with the Constitution, but a proper exercise of the power re- 
served to the Legislature by the latter, of directing in what other cases 
based as that of impeachments by the House of Delegates, the execu- 
tive should be restrained from pardoning, including in it the power of 
directing the mode of pardon in all such cases, provided such mode 
should necessarily involve the consent of the House of Delegates, 






1905.] REMARKS BY MEMBERS. 1G7 

which it was thought preserved the spirit of the Constitution and was 
the best interpretation which the inaccurate words of the Constitution 
would admit of. Consequently it stands as the opinion of the judiciary 
that a traitor can't be pardoned but by the consent of both Houses of 
Assembly. 

Edm? Pendleton. 

Remarks were also made during the meeting by Messrs. 
Grenville H. Norcross, Edmund F. Slafter, and Archi- 
bald Cary Coolidge, who in the unavoidable absence of 
Mr. Charles Gross, read a letter from him, giving a minute 
estimate of the historical work of M. Lavisse. 



168 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 



MARCH MEETING, 1905. 

The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at three o'clock, p.m. In the absence of the President, the 
senior Vice-President was in the chair. The record of the 
February meeting was read and approved ; and reports from 
the Corresponding Secretary, who was absent, and the Librarian 
were presented. 

The Vice-President said : " At the last meeting of the 
Society, when an account was given of George Livermore's 
picture, then recently hung, I was reminded of the fact that the 
portrait of Mr. John Langdon Sibley, our munificent benefac-. 
tor, which hangs in yonder room, had never been formally 
presented to the Society, and that no entry in regard to it 
appears on our records. In order to meet this oversight and 
to remedy the defect I will now report that the picture was 
given by Mrs. Sibley some months before her death. It was 
painted in January, 1894, by Mr. Frederic Porter Vinton, the 
well-known artist, and is a replica of the one now belonging to 
Phillips Exeter Academy, which was painted in the autumn 
of 1879. It seems proper that a statement of these facts 
should go on record." 

He also said : " Among the accessions to the Library during 
the month is an interesting and valuable pamphlet, given by 
Mr. Charles Butler Brooks, of Boston. It is entitled i The 
Narrative of the most terrible and dreadful Tempest, Hurri- 
cane, or Earthquake in Holland ; on Wednesday the 22 of July 
last,' etc. (pp. 8), and was printed at Cambridge in 1674. It 
adds to our present list of Early American Imprints another 
title that may be unique. Rev. Thomas Prince, in his manu- 
script catalogue of New England publications, describes a 
copy that was defective or deficient at the end. The pamphlet 
has for a cover a part of a Proclamation issued ' By Thomas 
Danforth, Esq. ; President of the Province of Mayne,' for a 
Thanksgiving, on November 23, 1682. At that period Dan- 
forth was Deputy Governor of Massachusetts ; and the day 



1905.] THE PISCATAQUA COLONY. 169 

was fixed by the General Court of the Bay Colony. Un- 
fortunately the lower part of the printed matter of the 
Proclamation is torn off. This imperfection at the end of the 
sheet would seem to bear out the theory that the pamphlet 
may have been the identical copy described by Mr. Prince." 

Mr. Theodore C. Smith, Professor of History in Williams 
College, was elected a Resident Member ; and Mr. George P. 
Winship, Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, Provi- 
dence, Rhode Island, was elected a Corresponding Member. 

Rev. Dr. James De Normandie, having been called on, 
read the following paper : — 

Manners, Morals, and Laws of the Plscataqua Colony. 

The character of the early settlers in the plantations along 
the Atlantic coast must have been quite the same. They 
came generally from the same classes of English people, and 
either from the spirit of colonization then so widespread 
throughout Europe or from nonconformity driven by the in- 
tolerance of the Established Church. Ecclesiastical associa- 
tions were the chief differences, especially between the Bay 
and the Piscataqua. The latter was made in the interests of 
Episcopacy as the handmaiden of royalty ; and this accounts 
for a large part of the dissensions between the two, and the 
charges of each against the other. 

Governor Dudley, writing from the Bay, says of the Piscata- 
qua : " Some of our settlers heareing of men of their own dispo- 
sition which were planted at Pascataway, went from us to 
them, whereby, tho' our own numbers were lessened, yet we 
accounted ourselves nothing weakened by their removeall." 
It is an ancient theological tradition, not yet entirely outgrown, 
that persons who differ from you in their faith are likely to 
have a lower standard of morality. So Mather writes in the 
"Magnalia": u There were more than a few attempts of the 
English to People & Improve the Parts of New England 
which were to the Northward of New Plymouth, but the 
Designs of those Attempts being aim'd no higher than the 
Advancement of some Worldly Interests a constant Series of 
Disasters has Confounded them until there was a Plantation 
erected upon the nobler Designs of Christianity, & that 
Plantation tho' it has had more Adversaries than perhaps any 

22 



170 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

upon Earth yet having obtained help from God it continues to 
this day." 

It is perhaps true of both the Bay and the Piscataqua that 
during the early years they had a large number of settlers of 
high moral and social standing, merchants and yeomen, cit- 
izens and clergy of a good quality of English life. It is true 
their religious views differed ; it is true they were equally at- 
tached to their faith ; it is true that some in each plantation 
partook of that coarse, wild, and profane character which be- 
longs to all new settlements; and it is true that very early the 
Piscataqua came under the rule of the Bay, — was subject to 
their form of worship, controlled by men of precisely their way 
of thinking, so that the manners and morals were much the 
same. 

One cannot fail to notice the expressions of friendship or 
religion which are found at the opening or close of business 
communications. The letters from one merchant to another 
seem incomplete without inquiries about health, family, or. 
asking the blessing of God upon their enterprises. Of course, 
it is possible for good manners to conceal the intentions or 
disposition to dishonesty, as the forms of religion may advance 
the schemes of hypocrisy ; but it is not generally so, and these 
expressions, even though common in the epistolary form of 
that day, hardly belong to a class of men without the sen- 
timent of religion or abandoned to trade beyond other settlers. 
Thus Thomas Eyre of the Laconia Company, writing to Gib- 
bins, closes his letter with this sentence: " I commend you and 
your wife, who by this I hope is with you, to the protection of 
the almightie." Mason, sending to Vanghan an invoice of 
goods shipped to the company, finishes his letter with, " Thus 
we commend you to God." Gibbins, writing back, says : " At 
large I wil write, if God wil by the next. Thus taking leave 
I commit your worship to Almighty God." Still, even at that 
day the spirit of over-reaching, which seems as old as trade, 
constantly appears, and Gibbins says in a letter to Mason : 
" The merchants I shall be very cautylous how I deale w th any 
of them while I live." 

Not less frequent are the expressions of friendship from the 
families of the Proprietors to those of the factors : " with my 
kind love to your wife & daughter," or " Your loving friend," 
constantly appears in business letters. 



1905.] THE P1SCATAQUA COLONY. 171 

In matters of temperance, early colonists two centuries ago 
are not likely to be illustrious examples; yet there is nothing 
like history to show the progress the temperance cause has 
made. The convivial habits of two hundred or even of one 
hundred years ago would not be endured anywhere now for a 
day. One who will take the trouble to look up the social or 
domestic life of the English or the Scotch, or of our own land 
back of the last century, will be amazed at the general custom 
of excessive drinking ; and while among the greatest of the evils 
we still have to struggle against, the improvement has been 
most evident, and all the statements that we are intemperate 
beyond past years, or that the evil increases, have no founda- 
tion in fact. Dean Ramsay tells us it was no uncommon thing 
in the well-appointed houses of the gentry to keep two stout 
Highlanders whose business was to carry the guests upstairs 
after a dinner, and a boy under the table to loosen their neck- 
ties when they slipped down in the stupor of intoxication. All 
these settlements were well supplied with " Aqua vity," as 
it is often spelled. This and " Sack " come in all the inven- 
tories as a part of the goods. One Roger Shawe, of Hampton, 
is empowered and ordered " to sell wine of any sort and strong 
licquors to the Indians, as to their (his) judgment shall seeme 
meete and necessary for their relief in just and urgent occa- 
sions, and not otherwise." " Persons who keep houses of en- 
tertainment are forbidden to allow tippling after nine oclock." 
In Londonderry the evil was so great that at the installation 
of a clergyman a hogshead of rum was drunk, and in one part 
of the house in which the minister lived was a tavern where 
spirit was sold and drunk on Sunday by members of the church. 
The use of tobacco, then comparatively novel, early became 
subject to legal restrictions. In 1646 we find : " Whereas 
there is great abuse in taking Tobacco in a very uncivil 
manner in the streets, if any person or persons shall be found 
or seen doing so hereafter he shall be subject to punishment" ; 
and again, " Any person or persons who shall be found smok- 
ing tobacco on the Lord's day going to, or coming from the 
meetings, within two miles of the meeting house, he shall be 
fined." " Within two miles " was construed to have no bear- 
ing on such as had a mind to smoke in the meeting-house, and 
so the loud snapping of tobacco boxes after loading the pipes, 
the clinking of flint and steel, followed by curling wreaths of 



172 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

smoke, were not infrequent in the house of worship. The 
story of Captain John Underhill, who was a conspicuous figure 
in the early history of this settlement, and not distinguished 
by having all the graces, is quite familiar. He went so far 
as to say, " that having long lain under a spirit of bondage, 
he could get no assurance ; till at length as he was taking a 
pipe of tobacco, the spirit set home upon him an absolute 
promise of free grace, with such assurance and joy that he 
has never since doubted of his good estate, neither should he, 
whatever sins he might fall into," and " that as the Lord was 
pleased to convert Saul while he was persecuting, so he might 
manifest himself to him while making a moderate use of the 
good creature tobacco," — probably the only instance, since its 
discoveiy, wherein it has been held up as a means of grace or 
the hope of glory. 

Here are some regulations which let us into the customs of 
those times, and which show the keen watchfulness over the 
doings of every settler in the interests of good order and 
religion. It was ordered that " no young man that was neither 
married nor hath any servant, and be no public officer, should 
keep house by himself, without Consent of the town where he 
first lived ; and that no master of a family should give habita- 
tion or entertainment to any young man to sojourne in his 
family but by the allowance of the inhabitants of the said 
town where he dwells"; — this was a decree so that a strict 
watch might be kept over the ways of each person. It was 
ordered that Maverick, on Noddle's Island, and his family move 
into Boston and entertain no strangers longer than one night. 
This Maverick was a clergyman of the Church of England, 
and the order was given out of fear lest he might countenance 
and harbor the enemies of the Puritans. It seems strange to 
us that the manner of wearing the hair should enter into 
popular discussion, legislative enactments, and violent pulpit 
utterances; but whole communities were seriously excited 
over it, and even the Apostle Eliot had a hard time with the 
important question. Governors, deputy-governors, and magis- 
trates entered into league to prevent the growing evil. In 
1648 the wearing of long hair was condemned as sinful. " For- 
asmuch as the wearing of long hair, after the manner of 
ruffians and barbarous Indians [one wonders why the Pa- 
triarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and even the Saviour are not 



1905.] THE PISCATAQUA COLONY. 173 

included inasmuch as Art so frequently represents these all as 
wearing long hair] has begun to invade New England con- 
trary to the rule of God's word, which says it is a shame for a 
man to wear long hair, as also the commendable custom gen- 
erally of all the godly of our nation, until within these few 
years: we, the magistrates, do declare and manifest our 
dislike and detestation against the wearing of such long hair, 
as against a thing uncivil and unmanly, whereby men do 
deform themselves, and offend sober and modest men, and do 
corrupt good manners." At another time, the Court taking 
into consideration the extravagance which prevailed through 
the country as to costliness of attire, and following new 
fashions, ministers, as the particular duty of their profession, 
were called upon to urge a reform in this respect on their 
congregations ; " but," it is added, " little was done about it, 
for divers of the elders' wives were in some measure partners 
of the general disorder." 

In 1642 the General Court required that the children whose 
parents neglect to educate them shall have the particular at- 
tention of the selectmen where they live, so that they shall 
learn to read and understand the principles of religion as well 
as the capital laws, and that all parents and masters do duly 
endeavor, either of their own ability and labor or by employ- 
ing such schoolmasters or other helps and means as the plan- 
tation doth afford, or the family may conveniently provide, 
that all their children and apprentices, as they grow capable, 
may through God's blessing attain at least so much as to be 
able duly to read the Scriptures and other good and profitable 
printed books in the English tongue. 

In 1647 there is a long resolution in regard to the Bible in 
schools, so that the pupils may exercise greater vigilance 
against papacy, "it being one chiefe project of y* ould deludor 
Satan, to keepe men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as 
in former times by keeping y m in an unknown tongue, so in 
these latter times by persuading from y e use of tongues." 
The use of the Bible in schools was primariry and singly not 
for a religious service so much as to make each one read it for 
himself, — the cardinal Protestant idea. 

Marriage, when it was celebrated, was performed by a mag- 
istrate, or by persons especially appointed for that purpose. 
Governor Hutchinson, in his History, says he believes there 



174 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

was no instance of marriage by a clergyman during their first 
charter. Ambrose Gibbins, writing to Mason, says, " A good 
husband, with his wife to attend the cattle and make butter 
and cheese, will be profitable, for maids they are soone gonne 
in this countrie." 

In 1680 there was set forth a code of Province Laws by 
the Generall Assembly in Portsmouth, wherein many of the 
Mosaic laws are re-enacted in all their severity. Here are two 
bearing upon the relation of parents and children : " If any 
child or children above 16 years old of competent understand- 
ing, shall curse or smite their natural father or mother, he or 
they shall be put to death, unless it can be sufficiently testified 
that the parents have been very unchristianly negligent of the 
education of such children." "If any man have a rebellious 
or stubborne son of sufficient years and understanding, viz. 
16 years of age or upwards wch shall not obey y e voyce of 
his father, or y e voyce of his mother, yt when they have 
chastened him will not hearken unto them, . . . such son shall 
be put to death, or otherwise severely punished." Then there 
is this law, which it might be well for the journalism of our 
day to take to heart, which punishes any one " who shall 
wittingly or willingly make or publish any lie wch may be 
tending to y e damage or hurt of any particular person, or wth 
intent to deceive or abuse the people with false news or 
reports." 

Of course Sunday customs, worship, and laws occupy a large 
part of the early history of all these plantations. 

At first there were no pews in the rough, unplastered 
meeting-houses ; the congregation was seated upon rude 
benches. At Hampton the church had for some time but 
one pew, and that for the use of the minister's family. As 
luxury increased, one after another of some quality was per- 
mitted to build a pew, keep it in repair, maintain all the glass 
against it, and build on the spot assigned him. There was 
one exception noted where, by the vote of the town, " Mr. 
Andrew Wiggin shall have Leberty to set in what seat he 
pleaseth in the meeting-house," while the general law was 
" that when the Cometey have seated the meeting-house every 
person that is seated shall set in those seats or pay five shil- 
lings per day for every day they set out of those seates in a 
disorderly manner to advance themselves higher in the meet- 



1905.] THE PISCATAQUA COLONY. 175 

ing-house." In the old South Meeting-house in Portsmouth 
persons were voted a privilege to build a pew here and there, 
on the floor, in the gallery, or on the heavy beams ; and the 
aisles ran in a serpentine line around the pews. Persons were 
seated according to their rank or station in life or society, and 
u Mr." was a title of great distinction, to which a very small 
proportion attained. 

The distance persons walked for worship is incredible in our 
day, although well attested. The South Church at the Pis- 
cataqua was for a long time the only place of worship for 
Newington, Rye, Greenland, and Newcastle, and it was no 
uncommon thing for persons to walk six or eight miles, and 
sometimes carry an infant child. Before the town of Bed- 
ford was set off, its inhabitants attended worship at London- 
derry, and performed the journey on foot, a distance of twelve 
miles. The order of service was generally as follows : The 
drum was beaten or the bell rung by nine of the clock; the 
pastor prayed a quarter of an hour ; the teacher read and ex- 
plained a chapter ; a psalm was dictated by one of the ruling 
elders and sung ; the pastor preached a sermon and sometimes 
gave an exhortation without notes ; the teacher closed with a 
prayer and benediction. Services began at two in the after- 
noon and followed the same order. When a minister ex- 
changed, the ruling elder said publicly after the psalm was 
sung: "If this present brother hath any word of exhorta- 
tion for the people at this time, in the name of God let him 
say on." Before departing in the afternoon, one of the 
deacons said : " Brethren and the Congregation, as God hath 
prospered you, so freely give." Then the magistrates and 
chief gentlemen first, then the elders and all the congrega- 
tion of men, and most of them that were not of the church, 
all single persons, widows, and women in absence of their hus- 
bands, went up one after another one way and laid their offer- 
ings of money, chattel, or fruits upon the deacons' seats, and 
passed out by another way. It was somewhat like the old 
Greek idea of worship, — it was not so much what you got 
at the altar, but what you brought to it. Persons were ap- 
pointed to have inspection of the audience during the public 
exercises, whose frequent rounds kept the children in order. 
The badge of their office was a pole with a knob on one end 
and a tuft of feathers on the other. With the one they rapped 



176 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

on the men's heads, and with the other they brushed the ladies' 
faces when they caught them napping. 

Music soon began to be deemed a necessary part of worship ; 
and if it had its charms, it had also, as now, its accompanying 
criticisms and disaffections. The custom was to deacon the 
hymn, the precentor or leader of psalmody reading two lines, 
and all singing them, and so on to the end ; but the singers 
wanted to break up the old habit of "lining," or "deaconing," 
and have it all their own way. At Stratham the matter was 
settled by a compromise, the deacon by vote of the town to 
read half the time ; but still he complained of the bass viol, 
saying, " they had got a fiddle into the church as big as a 
hog's-trough " ; while at Londonderry the precentor and choir 
both kept on at the same time, one reading and the other sing- 
ing, until the latter gained the victory and sang the deacon 
down. 

The observance of the Sabbath was strict, universal, and 
hedged around with all possible and ever-increasing legal 
restrictions. Fast by the meeting-house were the stocks and 
pillory,-^- those guardians of the peace and terrors of evil- 
doers, where every failure to listen to the gospel was followed 
by the penalty of the law. And there are individuals, organi- 
zations, societies, churches now, that would gladly, if they could, 
re-establish all the strict laws of the Puritans in regard to the 
Sabbath. If profanation of the Lord's Day were done proudly 
and with a high hand against the authority of God, it was to 
be punished by death. In October, 1668, the Court ordered 
" that whatsoever person in this jurisdiction shall travell upon 
the Lord's day, either on horseback or on foote or by boats 
from or out of their owne towne to any unlawful assembly, or 
meeting not allowed by law, are hereby declared to be pro- 
phaners of the Sabbath and shall be proceeded against as 
the persons that prophane the Lord's Day by doing servile 
worke." 

In 1682 it was enacted, " For prevention of the prophanation 
of the Lord's day, that whosoever shall on the Lord's day be 
found to do unnecessary servile labor, travel, sport, or frequent 
ordinances in time of public worship, or idly straggle abroad, 
the person so offending shall pay a fine of ten shillings, or be 
set in the stocks an hour ; for discovery of such persons it 
is ordered that the Constable, with some other meet person 



1905.] THE PISCATAQUA COLONY. 177 

whom he shall choose, shall in the time of public worship go 
forth to any suspected place within their precincts to find out 
any offenders as above." 

Jeremiah Mason tells the story, that returning to Portsmouth 
for a college recess, he was overtaken and delayed by a storm 
on Saturday, and Sunday morning quietly pursued his journey 
on horseback. He passed a country schoolhouse or meeting- 
house where the people were gathering for worship. Some 
distance on he saw a man approaching on horseback, and as 
they met, the man asked him where he was going. Mason ex- 
plained, when the man said he was the constable and was ap- 
pointed to see there was no profanation of the Lord's Day, and 
that Mason must return and attend the two services at the meet- 
ing-house, and at sunset he could pursue his journey ; and drew 
his horse across the narrow country road. He was a small man 
on a small horse ; Mason was a very large man on a very large 
horse. Mason went back some distance, and suddenly turning 
and urging his horse, the constable called out to him, " Where 
are you going ? " "I am going right over you " ; and he went 
on to his home. 

We hear much said about what shall be done for religious 
education — for which there seems no time now in this 
absurdly busy world — but there was abundant opportunity 
for whatever religious education could be given when such 
a regulation as this was in force ; u to the end that the Sab- 
bath may be celebrated in a religious manner," it is ordered 
" that all that inhabite the plantation, both for the general 
and particular employments, may surcease their labor every 
Saturday throughout the yeare, at three of the Clock in 
the afternoone, and that they spend the rest of that day in 
catechizing and preparacon for the Sabbath as the minister 
shall direct." There is a record of an agreement with some 
converted Indians who were asked, " Will you refrain from 
working on the Sabbath?" The answer was, 44 It is easy for 
us ; we have not much to do any day, and we can well rest on 
that day." 

I hope to show to this Society before long, by one or two 
papers, that there is really no question which presents fewer 
embarrassments than the Sunday one, if we examine it in the 
historical sense, free from outgrown theological interpretations 
of scriptural and sectarian prejudices. 

23 



178 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

Mr. John Noble read a paper on " Legislation in regard to 
Highway Robbery in Massachusetts," as follows : — 

In Notes and Queries in the " Boston Transcript" of 4th 
February there was a reference to what seemed a startling 
occurrence, — the hanging of a woman upon Boston Common 
in 1789 for snatching a bonnet from another woman's head. 
It is as follows: — 

Note 2182. The enclosed clipping from a Boston paper of several 
years ago recently came to my notice. 

I am a granddaughter of Margaret Bender, who married in 1793. 
When a child I once heard a member of our family say that Rachel 
Wall, besides seizing Margaret Bender's bonnet, tried to pull out her 
tongue. 

It was said that my grandmother never ceased to deplore the fact 
that a life was forfeited on her account. C. T. S. 

HANGED FOR STEALING A HAT. 

Just at the spot, nearly opposite Mason Street, where preparations 
have been made for an entrance to the subway on the Common, in 
which the tracks for south-bound cars are to be deflected westerly 
before intersecting the Boylston street branch in order to resume the 
parallel at Tremont street, is the point which may be said to have 
witnessed the most unaccountable execution on record in this State. 

" Is it true that Governor John Hancock ordered a woman to be 
hanged on the Common for snatching a bonnet ? " was asked by a 
Bostonian as he passed this spot where the subway operations are the 
centre of curiosity. 

There is at the State House a document with the bold autograph that 
headed the signatures of the Declaration of Independence. Governor 
John Hancock, under date of Oct. 8, 1789, and in language identical 
with that addressed to Sheriff O'Brien in connection with the hanging 
of Gilbert, with the appropriate variation of time and place, ordered 
Joseph Henderson, " sheriff of our county of Suffolk," to hang Rachel 
Wall, on Boston Common, on the 20th of that month. 

To find the specific cause, the record of the court that convicted her 
was searched. It said that Rachel Wall, on the 18th of March, 1789, 
at Boston, on the public highway, assailed Margaret Bender, and with 
"bodily force" seized and put on the bonnet of said Bender, "of the 
value of seven shillings." " This," says the record, " did she carry 
away against the public peace of this Commonwealth." In the docu- 
ment " sundry other thefts " were referred to, but in point of fact the 
tradition in the case as generally believed is that the offence was one 






1905.] LEGISLATION ON HIGHWAY ROBBERY. 170 

involving a quarrel between two women, one of whom snatched the 
bonnet of the other. The sentence of execution was duly carried out, 
under the rule of the first Governor of our Commonwealth, and within 
four days of the time when the first President of the United States was 
welcomed on these streets. So it happens that in digging at this 
deviating point for subway tracks there are also dug up memories of an 
execution that would suggest the rule of a Draco rather than that of 
a Massachusetts patriot. 

And the next week another : — 

Answer to Note 2182. Consulting the family records, I find that 
Margaret Bender was born in 1772; she was therefore but seventeen 
years old in 1789, a mere girl, when Rachel Wall was hanged. She 
lived to the ripe age of seventy-two, loved and respected by all. Recol- 
lections of her forbid the thought that "the two women quarrelled." 
My impression from what I have heard of the occurrence is that 
Margaret Bender was the victim of a sudden and unprovoked assault, 
in which Rachel Wall tried by "bodily force " to pull out her tongue. 
Family tradition has it that this was the offence for which she was 
hanged. C. T. S. 

Later two or three country newspapers within and without 
the State took up the matter with various comments and 
reflections, and it provoked considerable interest. 

The account seemed almost incredible, and worth looking 
into to see how justice was really administered here a hundred 
years or little more ago, and shortly after Massachusetts had 
become an independent commonwealth. An examination of 
the court records proved that the story, with some slight 
inaccuracies, was true. The record of the case, as formally set 
out, runs thus : — 

Record oi the Supreme Judicial Court, held at Boston, for the County 
of Suffolk, 25 August, 1789, folio 257. 

William Cushing Esqy Chief Justice 

Nathl P. Sargeant 

David Sewall 

Francis Dana and 

Increase Sumner, Esq? Justices 

The Jurors for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, upon their oath 
present, that at the Supreme Judicial Court, begun and holden at Bos- 
ton, within and for the County of Suffolk, on the last Tuesday of 
August, in the year of our Lord, seventeen hundred and eighty five, 



180 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

Rachel Wall of said Boston, Spinster, was, by the consideration of the 
Justices of the same Court, duly couvicted of feloniously stealing, taking 
& carrying away the goods and chatties of Perez Morton, Esq. as by 
the records of the same Court there remaining, appears. And the 
Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid, do further present, that at 
the Supreme Judicial Court, begun and holden at Boston within & 
for the County of Suffolk, on the last Tuesday of August, in the year 
of our Lord, seventeen hundred and eighty eight, the said Rachel Wall, 
then standing convicted of the theft as aforesaid, was, by the considera- 
tion of the Justices of the same Court, duly convicted of breaking up 
and entering the dwelling house of one Lemuel Ludden, and feloniously 
stealing, taking and carrying away the goods and chatties of the said 
Lemuel, as by the records of the same Court, there remaining fully 
appears. And the Jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do fur- 
ther present, that the said Rachel Wall, afterwards, viz. on the twenty 
seventh day of March, in the year of our Lord, seventeen hundred and 
eighty nine, she the said Rachel Wall, then and there standing con- 
victed of the several Thefts as aforesaid, with force aud arms, at Boston, 
aforesaid, within the County of Suffolk aforesaid, in the public highway 
there, in aud upon one Margaret Bender, in the peace of God, and of 
this Commonwealth then and there being, feloniously did make an as- 
sault, and her the said Margaret Bender in bodily fear of her life, in 
the highway aforesaid, then and there feloniously did put, and one bon- 
net of the value of seven shillings, of the goods and chatties of the said 
Margaret Bender, from the person, and against the will of the said 
Margaret Bender in the highway aforesaid, then and there feloniously 
and violently did steal, take and carry away against the peace of the 
Commonwealth aforesaid, and Law of the same in such case made and 
provided. And now before the Court there comes the said Rachel Wall 
under Custody of the Sheriff of said County, and being set to the bar 
here in her proper person, and forthwith being demanded concerning 
the premises in the Indictment above specified and charged upon her, 
how she will acquit herself thereof, she says that thereof she is not 
guilty, and thereof for tryal puts herself on God and the Country 
(Christopher Gore, & James Hughes, being assigned by the Court as 
Counsel for the prisoner). A Jury is immediately impannelled, viz. 
Benj a Clark, foreman, and fellows namely, Bossenger Foster, Ezra 
Penniman, Rufus Mann, Rob! Peirce, Caleb Beals, Jos. Draper, 
Ezekiel Richardson, Daniel Bell, Ebenezr Tucker, Jun. Silas Weld 
and Thomas King, who being sworn to speak the truth of and concern- 
ing the premises, upon their oath say, that the said Rachel Wall is 
guilty. And now the Attorney General moves that sentence of death 
might be given against the said Rachel Wall, the Prisoner at the bar ; 
upon which it is demanded of her the said Rachel Wall, if she has or 



1905.] LEGISLATION ON HIGHWAY ROBBERY. 181 

knows ought to say wherefore the Justices here ought not upon the 
premises and verdict aforesaid to proceed to Judgment against her, who 
nothing further says, unless as she before [had] said : Whereupon all 
and singular the premises being seen, and by the said Justices here 
fully understood, It is Considered by the Court here, that the said 
Rachel Wall be taken to the Gaol of the Commonwealth from whence 
she came, and from thence to the place of Execution, and there be 
hanged by the neck until she be dead. 

No evidence in the case has been preserved, and of the 
original papers there remain only the indictments and a bill of 
costs. Eminent counsel were concerned in the trial in the 
Supreme Judicial Court, — Robert Treat Paine, the Attorney- 
General, for the Commonwealth ; and Christopher Gore and 
James Hughes assigned by the court for the defence. 

The bill of costs indicates a trial of considerable length, and 
it also illustrates modes of procedure. It emphasizes the dif- 
ference between the expense of a capital trial then and now. 

Suffolk Court Files No. 106011. Paper No. 91. 
Suffolk Sup. Jud. Court August 1789. 

Coniwealth v. Rachel Wall convicted of Robbery. 

Cost, before Justice Crafts £0 u 16 n 4 

Witnesses 

Margaret Bender 3d .... it 9 u 

Col. Tho. s Dawes 2 . . . . .. 6 „ 

Charles Berry 2 . . . . n 6 „ 

John Berry 2 .... „ 6 .. 

John Soren 2 .... n 6 n 

Jn? Frazur Low 2 . . . . ,. 6 ,. 

John Soames 2 .... n 6 n 

Mary Barrett 2 .... m 6 n 

Jury fees 1 n 18 u 6 

Jn? Butterfield sum? Witnesses n 6 m .0 

Entry and Writ to sum. Witnesses n 16 n 

Exemplification of Record n 6 n 

Copy of Bill ii 1 ii 

Sheriffs Bar fee „ 3 „ 8 

Taxing &c. 3/6 Copy of pannel 2/ „ 5 .. 6 

. £7 ii 4 ii 



182 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

Order and Copy 2 M 6 

£7 i, 6 n .6 
Copy of former Conviction 2/4 2 m 4 

7 .. 8 ii 10 
Examined p r Jn° Tucker Cler 
Copy Att 1 . Jn<? Tucker Cler 

Oct r . 29, 1790. It appearing to the Justices of the Sup. Jud. Court 
that the Costs against Rachel Wall convicted of Robbery by the Ver- 
dict of a Jury and executed amount to £7 n 8 n 10 agreable to the 
Bill taxed within. Ordered, that the Sheriff of the County of Suffolk 
pay said Costs to the several Persons to whom they are due and owing 
from the fines and forfeitures in his hands (if sufficient he has for that 
Purpose) according to the Law in such Case provided 

Jn^ Tucker Cler 
Endorsed 

Copy of Bill of Cost 
v. Rachel Wall 
No. 90 Robbery 
Executed — To be paid 
by the Sheriff &c. 

Aug 5 .' 1789 
Rec<? 3/8 my Bar Fee 

Jos. Henderson 

The Warrant for Execution and the Return of the Sheriff 
thereon, are among the Council Files at the State House, and 
are as follows : — 

Council Files 1789-1793 at State House. 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

To Joseph Henderson Esq' 
§>eal sheriff of the County of Suffolk 

Greeting. 
Whereas Rachel Wall of Boston 
John Hancock in the County of Suffolk spinster 

now a prisoner in our Goal at Bos- 
ton in our County of Suffolk was before our Justices of our Supreme 
Judicial Court begun and held at Boston within and for our County of 
Suffolk on the last Tuesday of August in the year of our Lord seven- 
teen hundred & eighty nine convicted of the crime of highway Robbery 
and was then and there by our said Court duly sentenced to suffer the 
pains and penalties of death, as to us appears of Record, an exemplifi- 




1905.] LEGISLATION ON HIGHWAY EOBBERY. 183 

cation of which under the Seal of our said Court is hereunto annexed 
whereof Execution still remaineth to be done : — We therefore with the 
advice and consent of the Council pursuant to the Statute in that case 
made and provided command you, that on Thursday the eighth day of 
October next between the hours of twelve and four o'clock in the after- 
noon, at the usual place of Execution you cause Execution on the per- 
son of the said Rachel Wall to be done and performed in all things 
according to the form and effect of the said Judgment for which this 
shall be your sufficient Warrant — hereof fail not at your peril, and 
make return of this Writ with your doings herein into our Secretarys 
office on or before the twentieth day of October next. 

In Testimony whereof we have caused our great Seal to be hereunto 
affixed — Witness John Hancock Esq r our Governor and Commander 
in Chief at Boston this tenth day of September in the year of our Lord 
one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine, and in the Fourteenth 
year of the Independence of the United States of America. 

By His Excellencys Command 
with the advice and consent 
of the Councih 

John Avert jun r Sec v 

Suffolk ss. Boston, October 9 th 1789 — 

In Obedience to this precept to me directed, I removed the Body of 
the within Named Rachel Wall from the Goal the place of her Con- 
finement to the Usual place of Execution where I hanged the said 
Rachel Wall by the Neck until she was dead, I therefore return this 
Warrant fully satisfied 

Jos. Henderson Sheriff. 

The Boston newspapers of the time give some few facts and 
furnish some additional particulars. 

The occurrence seems to have excited but little comment, 
and the accounts in their brevity and quietness are in striking 
contrast with the flaming headlines and the multitudinous 
details of the journals of to-day. It was taken for granted that 
laws were made to be enforced, — and enforced without eva- 
sion or compromises, — and that the Executive was bound to 
see to their exact execution without faltering or shrinking 
from the obligation of his oath and the faithful performance of 
his official duty. 

Extracts from two journals give the account of the offence 
and the ending of the affair : — 



184 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

From the "Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser," 
published in Boston, April 2, 1789 : — 

" A singular kind of robbery, for this part of the world, took place on 
Friday evening last : As a woman was walking alone, she was met by 
another woman, who seized hold of her and stopped her mouth with her 
handkerchief, and tore from her head her bonnet and cushion, after 
which she flung her down, took her shoes and buckles, and then fled. 
She was soon after overtaken, and committed to jail." 

From the same paper of September 10, 1789 : — 

" Last Tuesday afternoon, Sentence of Death was pronounced against 
William Dennifee, William Smith and Rachel Wall, who were sever- 
ally convicted of High Way Robbery at the Supreme Judicial Court, 
holden in this town; the sentence was pronounced by Chief Justice 
Cushing." 

From the same paper of September 17, 1789 : — 

" Thursday, the 8th of next month, is appointed by his Excellency 
the Governour and Council, for the execution of William Smith, Wil- 
liam Dennoffee, and Rachel Wall, now under sentence of death for High- 
way Robbery." 

From the same paper of October 8, 1789 : — 

"This day, between the hours of 12 and 4, William Dennoffee, Wil- 
liam Smith, and Rachel Wall, are to be executed, pursuant to their 
sentence, for the crime of highway robbery." 

The " Mass. Centinel," published in Boston (on Wednesdays and 
Saturdays), has on September 12, 1789 : — 

"At the Supreme Judicial Court lately held here, William Smith, 
Rachel Wall, and William Dennoffe, were severally convicted of rob- 
bery, and sentenced to be hanged. . . . 

" The Supreme Executive of this State has been pleased to order, 
that the execution of the sentence of death pronounced on William 
Smith, William Dennoffe, and Rachel Wall, for robbery, shall be on 
Thursday the 8th of October next." 

From the same paper of October 10, 1789 : — 

" On Thursday were executed William Denoffe, William Smith, and 
Rachel Wall, pursuant to their sentence for highway robbery." 

The law as it stood at the time was rigorously enforced. 
No doubt or hesitation seems to have arisen. A question may 
perhaps reasonably suggest itself whether, though the offence 
fell technically within the language of the law, it was within 
its spirit and intent. The point, however, seems not to have 



1905.] 



LEGISLATION ON HIGHWAY ROBBERY. 185 



been taken, no question to have been raised, and no attempt 
to secure a stay or commutation of the sentence. The pris- 
oner was an old offender, the crime fully proved, and that 
seems to have been considered enough. Evidently the weak 
commiseration for a convicted criminal now so common found 
little favor then. 

The case itself naturally suggested an inquiry as to how 
Massachusetts had dealt with the crime of highway robbery 
in its several periods of colony, province, and commonwealth. 

Old Fletcher, of Saltoun, said : " I knew a very wise man 
that believed that, if a man were permitted to make all the 
ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a 
nation." Perhaps a corollary to that might be : Given the laws 
of a people, its civil history is told. And even in the old- 
fashioned preambles no little history is wrapped up. 

The first law touching the crime of highway robbery was in 
1642. The colonists brought with them the general principles 
of the common law and the habits of legal practice which they 
had acquired as Englishmen. The courts established were 
required to proceed " to heare and determine all causes accord- 
ing to the lawes nowe established, & where there is noe lawe, 
then as neere the lawe of God as they can." 

And always the magistrates were inclined to let laws " arise 
pro re nata upon occasions." No occasion seems to have 
arisen for a dozen years after their landing, owing either to 
the character of the settlers or their situation and surround- 
ings, or other causes. 

The earliest legislation came at " The Generall Court of Elec- 
tions, the 18 th Day of y 3 d Mon th , 1642 " : — 

"If any man shall breake up or robb any dwelling house on the 
Lords day, when the inhabitants are gone to the worship of God, or 
comit burglary upon any other day, or by night, or shall rob any pson 
on the way or open feilds, or shall Steale any other goods left abroad, 
or in the house, shall bee severely punished, according to the nature of 
the offence, & the severall aggravations thereof, as y e iudges shall 
appoint ; this lawe to stand in force till the Gen r all Co r t doth alter it." * 

This law was of the utmost flexibility, and left everything 
to the discretion and determination of the judges. Later in 
the Colonial Laws it took on definite penalties : — 

1 Mass. Col. Rec., vol. ii. p. 22. 
24 



186 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

' ' Forasmuch as many persons, of late yeares have been S? are apt to be 
injurious to the goods and lives of others f notwithstanding all care and 
meanes to prevent and punish the same. 

" It is therefore Ordered by this Court and Authority thereof, that if 
any person shall commit Burglary : by breaking up any dwelling house 
or shall rob any person in the field or highwayes, such person so offend- 
ing, shall for the first offence, be branded on the forehead with the letter 
(B) And if he shall offend in the same Kinde the second time, he shall 
be branded as before & also be severely whipped ; and if he shall fall 
into the like offence the third time, he shall be put to death, as being 
incorrigible. 

" And if any person shall commit such burglary or rob in the fields or 
house on the Lords day ; besides the former punishment of branding, 
he shal for the first offence have one of his eares cut off, And for the 
second offence in the same kind he shal lose his other Eare in the same 
manner, And for the third offence, he shal be put to death [1642- 
1647]." 1 

This law sufficed through the period of the Colony. The 
records of the Court of Assistants, which alone had jurisdiction 
of " all Capital and Criminal causes, extending to life, mem- 
ber or banishment," are significant, so far as extant, as showing 
the rarity of the specific offence. There is, however, a gap of 
thirty years between 1643 and 1673, when the records as such 
are not extant. 

Between 1630 and 1644 no case of highway robbery appears 
upon the records of the Court of Assistants, but there are sev- 
eral trials and sentences for stealing. The penalty imposed is 
fine, restitution, whipping, and occasionally branding, accord- 
ing to the gravity of the offence. 

In 1642 a woman " for hir many theftes and lyes was cen- 
sured to bee severely whipt, & condemned to Slavery, till shee 
have recompenced double for all hir theftes." 2 

In 1635, in the case of " a knowen theife, who since his come- 
ing hither hath comitted dyvers fellonyes &c. as appeareth by 
his examinacon, It is therefore ordered that the said Scarlett 
shalbe seuerely whipt & branded in the forehead with a 
T & after sent to his said Maister whome the Court enioynes 
to send the said Scarlett out of this Iurisdiccon " &c. 3 

i Colonial Laws (Whitmore's ed.), 1660-1672, p. 127; also 1672-1686, pp. 
12, 13. 
2 Records of the Court of Assistants, vol. ii. p. 118 (reprint). 
8 Ibid. p. 60. 



1905.] LEGISLATION ON HIGHWAY ROBBERY. 187 

And in the records from 1673 to 1692 no case of simple 
highway robbery is found. There are cases of burglary and 
piracy, where robbery is charged as an incident and the pun- 
ishment varies with the offence. In one in 1681 the sentence 
is " to be branded in the forhead w th the letter B. and be 
seuerely whipt w th thirty stripes paying treble damages . . . 
discharding fees of Court & y e prison standing Comitted till 
Sentence be performed." x 

And in another, in 1685, " to be branded w th the letter B on 
ye forhead & have his Right eare Cutt of dischardging y e charge 
of y e witnesses tryall & fees & then make Restitution to the 
party Injuried & in deflect thereof to be sold to any of 
the English plantations. And for another burglary tried at 
the same time "to be againe Branded ... & have his left 
eare cutt of," etc. as before. 2 The offenders seem most fre- 
quently to have been bond-servants. 

Then came the Statutes in the time of the Province, and 
changes in conditions are evident. 

Acts passed at the Session begun and held at Boston, on the thirtieth 
day of May, A. D. 1711. 

CHAPTER 2. 

To the intent her Majesty's leige people may be in peace, and out of 
fear of being assaulted and robbed by ill-minded wicked ruffians, as they 
are travelling the common roads or highways, or of being insulted and 
indecently treated or abused as they are civilly walking and recreating 
themselves in the fields, streets or lanes in towns, — 

Be it enacted by His Excellency, the Governour, Council and Rep- 
resentatives in General Court assembled, and by the Authority of the 
same, — 

Sect. 1. That every person and persons that shall be convicted of 
assaulting, robbing, and taking away from the person of another, 
travelling the common road or highway, any money, goods, clothing, 
or other things whatsoever, shall be punished with burning in the fore- 
head or hand, suffer six months' imprisonment, and render treble 
damages to the party robbed ; and upon a second conviction of the like 
offence, shall be deemed a felon, and suffer the pains of death, as in 
cases of felony. 

Passed June 8, pub. June 16, 1711. 8 

Section 2 provides for case where a woman is the sufferer. 

1 Records of the Court of Assistants, vol. i. p. 200. 

2 Ibid. pp. 283, 284. 

3 Province Laws (Goodell's ed.), vol. i. p. 674. 



188 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

This Act appears to have become in time insufficient, and a 
Committee of the Legislature is appointed to draft another. 

Note on Chapter 21. "Nov. 17, 1761. In Council Ordered That 
Peter Oliver and Harrison Gray Esq rs with such as the honorable 
House shall join be a Committee to bring in a Bill in addition to the 
Act for Suppressing of Robberies and Assaults. 

In the House of Representatives Read and Concurred and Cap n 
Goldthwait, M r Otis and M r Paine are joined in the Affair. 

(Council Records, vol. xxiv. p. 106.) 1 

Acts passed at the Session begun and held at Boston, on the twelfth 
day of November, A. D. 1761. 

CHAPTER 21. 

Whereas the act intitled " An Act for suppressing robberies and 
assaults " made and passed in the tenth year of Queen Anne, is insuffi- 
cient to restrain ill-minded and wicked ruffians from assaulting and 
robbing his Majesty's liege people as they are travelling the common 
roads, highways or streets, — 

Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and House of Repre- 
sentatives, 

Sect. 1. That every person or persons that shall, after the first day 
of December next, assault, rob and take away from the person of 
another, in or upon any highway, street, passage, field or open place, 
any money, goods, cloathing or other thing, whatsoever, and shall be 
thereof convict, shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and suffer the 
pains of death accordingly, without benefit of clergy. 

Passed and published November 28, 1761. 2 

Some three years later the attention of the Grand Jury is 
called to this Act : — 

Superior Court of Judicature. 

March Term, 1765. V. George Ter. 

Present. The Honourable C. J. Justices Lynde & Cushing. 

In the 

Charge to the Grand Jury by the Chief Justice Thomas Hutchinson : 
" There is another Offence — you have seen it in the public Prints — 

of Robbery on the Highway — Money demanded and actually taken ; 

an Offence very heinous in its Nature, and very rare in this Country, 

and I hope it will be universally discouraged ; and I question whether it 

is universally known, that by a late Law of this Province, it is Death 

to commit a Robbery on the Highway." 3 

1 Province Laws, vol. iv. p. 546, notes. 

2 Ibid. (Goodell's ed.), vol. iv. p. 488. 
8 Quincy's Mass. Reports, p. 114. 



1905.] LEGISLATION ON HIGHWAY EOBBERY. 189 

The Province passed away, the Commonwealth succeeded, 
and there came new legislation. 

Acts of 1784, ch. 52. [January Session.] 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in Gen- 
eral Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, 

That every person who shall feloniously assault, rob and take from 
the person of another, any money, goods, chattels or other property 
that may be the subject of theft, and shall be thereof convicted, shall 
be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall suffer the pains of death. 1 

March 9. 1785. 
For assault with intent, the punishment is : — 

fine not exceeding 1000 pounds, imprisonment, setting in the pillory, 
whipping, setting on the gallows with a rope about his neck [and the 
other end thereof thrown over the gallows,] confinement to hard 
labor, not exceeding three years, or either of these punishments, 
according to the degree and aggravation of offence. 

It was under this Act of 1784 that Rachel Wall was tried 
and convicted and executed. It held in force for twenty years. 

The Acts of 1805, ch. 88, approved March 11, 1806, re- 
pealed the Act approved March 9, 1785, together with various 
other Criminal Acts. 2 

Acts of 1804, ch. 143, § 7, approved March 16, 1805, im- 
posed solitary imprisonment not exceeding two years, and 
afterwards confinement to hard labor for life, — upon convic- 
tion in the Supreme Judicial Court. 3 

Acts of 1818, ch. 124, § 1, provided the punishment of death 
for assault and robbery, if robber armed with dangerous 
weapon, 4 leaving the punishment as before, in case the robber 
was not armed, — life imprisonment. 

Thirty years more brought another change, a mitigation in 
the severity of the punishment : — 

Revised Statutes of Massachusetts, 1836, ch. 125, § 15. 

If any person shall, by force and violence, or by assault and putting 
in fear, feloniously rob, steal and take from the person of another any 
money or other property, which may be the subject of larceny (such 
robber not being armed with a dangerous weapon), he shall be pun- 
ished by imprisonment in the State prison for life or for any term of 
years. 

1 Laws and Resolves of Massachusetts, 1784-5, p. 134. 

2 Ibid., 1804-5, p. 504. 3 lud., p. 243. 
4 Laws of Massachusetts, vol. ii. p. 501. 



190 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

§ 13. If robber armed — death — changed by St. 1839, ch. 
127, to imprisonment for life. 

Commonwealth v. Martin, 17 Mass. 359, has an elaborate 
opinion by C. J. Parker, — that to make the offence capital it 
is sufficient that the robber be armed, with intent to kill or 
maim, if necessary to effect his purpose, and he having the 
power to do so. 

General Statutes of Massachusetts, 1860, ch. 160, § 24, has 
the same provision as Revised Statutes, ch. 125, § 15 : — 

§ 22. If the robber be armed, imprisonment in the State prison for 
life. 

Public Statutes of Massachusetts, 1882, ch. 202, §§ 24 and 
22, has the same penalties. 

And the same remains the law to-day. 1 

These various Statutes, running through two centuries and 
a half, mark successive stages in the conditions and in the de- 
velopment of the State and in the dealing with this crime. 

The reading of the papers by Dr. De Normandie and Mr. 
Noble elicited some extemporaneous remarks by Mr. Edward 
Channing, who spoke at considerable length of crimes and 
their punishments in the colonial period, not only in Massa- 
chusetts but also in the other colonies, and expressed the 
opinion that the punishments were much less severe here than 
they were in the mother country. 

Mr. Franklin B. Dexter, of New Haven, Connecticut, 
a Corresponding Member, read the following paper : — 

Abraham Bishop, of Connecticut, and his Writings. 

Abraham Bishop died in 1844, — not recently enough to be 
held in general remembrance, and not so long since as to have 
become, if he ever will, a really historic character. In these 
circumstances I have not endeavored to gather any personal 
reminiscences, and shall confine myself mainly to tracing his 
story by means of what he put in print about himself. 

He was the eldest son of Deacon Samuel Bishop, a respected 
citizen of New Haven, who was much employed in public 
office, as Deputy in the General Assembly, Town Clerk, Mayor 

1 Revised Laws of Massachusetts, 1902, pp. 1744, 1745. 



1905.] ABRAHAM BISHOP AND HIS WRITINGS. 191 

and Judge. of the County and Probate courts. The son was so 
precocious as to begin his college course in Yale at the age of 
eleven years and nine months, in the class of 1778, the most 
brilliant class of that generation, with such comrades as Joel 
Barlow, Noah Webster, Oliver Woleott, Jr., Zephaniah Swift, 
and Uriah Tracy. 

Graduating at fifteen and a half, he could afford to proceed 
leisurely, and did not take his examination for the bar until 
April, 1785, at the age of twenty-two. 

Early in 1787 he started on an extended European tour, 
then a rare experience for a New Haven youth, from which he 
returned twenty months later, as President Stiles wrote in his 
Diary, "full of Improvement and Vanity." This tour, mainly 
performed on foot, is best remembered by allusions to it in 
" The Echo," a collection of poetical squibs by the Hartford 
wits, which ridicules his alleged gift of the shoes which had 
carried him over his journey, to the Museum of Yale College, 
and describes their subsequent fate, in being tossed out of 
window by an unappreciative tutor. What basis of truth 
there was in the tale, I do not attempt to decide. 

One thing more should be said of this foreign trip, that the 
time spent in France seems to have left a permanent mark on 
Mr. Bishop's character, in the unsettlement of his inherited re- 
ligious views and the development of a passion for democracy. 

We learn from Dr. Stiles's Diary that the traveller launched 
out at once on his return as a public orator, on a stage of his 
own providing. He writes, for example, on December 25, 
1788 : " Mr. Bishop began his Lecture on Moral Philosophy in 
his Theatre or Play House," — that being a house just built 
by his father, who had been persuaded to alter it to suit the 
son's purpose. And again, three weeks later : " In the Evening 
I attended Mr. Bishop's political Lecture against the new Con- 
stitution, as I did Mr. [William] Hillhouse's Defence of the 
Constitution last Monday." It was certainly in keeping with 
his later career, that the first report of him as a political speaker 
should be in the character of an opponent of what we know as 
the Federal Constitution. 

In the following year another characteristic performance 
was his posing as an innovator in educational theory. He had 
evolved an elaborate plan for a graded school system, embrac- 
ing the public and private schools of the city, and the Hopkins 



192 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

Grammar School, an old endowed foundation preparatory to 
college, as well. His plan was straightway approved and 
adopted by a large representative meeting of citizens, and he 
was himself named Director of the associated institutions, and 
head of the Academy into which the Grammar School was to 
be transformed ; but beyond a public oration by the Director, 
and five or six explanatory articles in the newspapers from the 
same hand, the scheme seems to have had no results, and soon 
drops out of sight. With its collapse his employment in the 
Grammar School also ended, and we next hear of him in 
Boston, where he spent most of the year 1791. 

Of his occupations while here I can only say certainly that 
he was a frequent contributor to some of the local papers on 
political and philosophical subjects ; probably also he gave, 
or at least offered to give, instruction in oratory and other 
branches. 

And here, in October, 1791, his first known pamphlet was 
printed by Isaiah Thomas. This was: " The Triumph of 
Truth. — History and Visions of Clio. By John Paul Martin, 
A. M., M. S. P." The origin and meaning of this pseudonym 
are not clear ; but I note that several articles contributed by 
our author in the same year to the " Boston Argus " are signed 
with the same name or with its initials. The piece is a sort 
of rhapsody, professedly in support of Christianity, and pre- 
tending to describe the spiritual progress of a friend named 
Clio. A prefatory note states that parts of it " will be deliv- 
ered by the author, as an exercise of sacred Oratory," with 
intervals for the introduction of music; and suitable hymns 
by Watts are noted in the text. I cannot make out whether 
the whole thing was a hidden attempt at burlesque or a pious 
affectation. 

Another result of his Boston residence was his marriage in 
Newburyport, in March, 1792, at the age of twenty-nine, by 
the Rev. Dr. Bass, to Nancy, only daughter of the very rich 
and very eccentric " Lord " Timothy Dexter, a young school- 
girl in her sixteenth year. 

Then his wanderings ended, and he returned to New Haven, 
to make his home in the old family residence on the corner of 
Elm and State streets for the rest of his life. 

He had no legal practice of any moment, but held for a time 
the appointment of County Surveyor, and in 1795 became 



1905.] ABRAHAM BISHOP AND HIS WRITINGS. 193 

clerk of the County Court, as also of the Probate Court in the 
following year. To these offices he added, when the Superior 
Court of New Haven County was established, in 1798, the 
clerkship of that court also ; but lost these employments after 
two or three years. 

At his father's death, in 1803, he succeeded him as Collector 
of the Port of New Haven, and this office he retained until 
President Jackson's accession in 1829. In the preceding cam- 
paign he had opposed Jackson, having by this time adopted 
protectionist views, and accordingly he failed to secure a 
reappointment. He was then sixty-six years of age, a dozen 
years younger than his father had been when selected for the 
same post; but he accepted his fate, and spent the remaining 
fifteen years of his life in retirement. 

His marriage was unhappy, and after the birth of a daughter 
he secured a divorce from his wife, who returned to Newbury- 
port. She outlived her husband, an object of constant care 
from mental and physical infirmity. He was subsequently 
twice married, and at his death, in April, 1844, was survived 
by three daughters and by his third wife, who did not die 
until 1863. 

Of his active interests, outside of his official engagements, 
during the first years after his final return to New Haven, I 
find no trace except in a pamphlet, in two parts, which he 
printed at Hartford, in 1797-98, with the title " Georgia 
Speculation Unveiled." 

He was probably one of the many Northern victims of the 
speculative land companies to which a corrupt Georgia Legis- 
lature had pretended to sell its fictitious rights to the Indian 
land on its western borders ; and this essay discusses, with 
considerable parade of legal technicalities, the objectionable 
features of what was really a fraudulent transaction. 

Mr. Bishop's ability as a ready writer and speaker was now 
recognized, and this led naturally enough to his appointment 
in 1800 as orator of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in the college 
at their annual public meeting, which was regularly held in 
the Centre Church on the evening before Commencement. 

In that year and the years just after, party spirit in New 
Haven ran as high as it has ever run in her history ; and not 
only was Abraham Bishop any man's equal in ardent partisan- 
ship, but to him belongs the distinction of outstripping all his 

25 



194 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

contemporaries through the help of this occasion and his mode 
of using it. 

He was of course an Anti-Federalist or Republican ; and 
here, if he dared seize it, was a chance of capturing a crowded 
audience, mainly of the opposite political faith. To be sure 
it was unprecedented to treat of practical politics on these 
occasions; but he went ahead, and printed in advance his 
oration " On the Extent and Power of Political Delusion," 
which was neither more nor less than a campaign speech. He 
sent a copy, on the day but one before the date of the meeting, 
to the committee of the Society, and there was just time for 
them to insert in the newspaper of the following day an in- 
dignant repudiation of the orator and all his works by the 
cancelling of his appointment. But he was not caught nap- 
ping, and the same paper contained a notice from Mr. Bishop 
that his oration would be independently delivered, in the 
meeting-house of the White Haven Society (in which his 
father was a deacon), and that it would be on sale im- 
mediately. 

The extraordinary oration, thus effectively advertised, is in 
a totally different vein from the author's previous pamphlets. 
The style is characterized by great apparent frankness, verg- 
ing on impudence, by great facility in the use of Scripture 
phrases, and by the strongest partisan flavor. Perhaps, in 
view of the author's later career as commercial agent of the 
government at the port of New Haven for over a quarter of a 
century, as striking a point as any is his fixed opposition at 
this time to all extension or fostering of commerce. I may 
not stop to analyze the argument, but I quote the opening 
and closing paragraphs as samples of the style. The orator 
begins : — 

"On the eve of a day set apart for a literary feast of fat things, 
I have adjudged that a plain dish would be most acceptable. Indeed, 
had it been assigned to me to speak to you of Greece and Rome, of the 
inexhaustible treasures of Hebrew, Greek and Arabic, or to have dis- 
cussed the height and diameter of the antediluvians, or to have ex- 
plained the cause why a black man is not a white man, or why an elm 
tree does not bear apricots ; you must have sat here in silence, and the 
spirit would never have moved me to address you. Avoiding literary 
discussion, I have selected as the theme of this occasion, the extent and 
power of political delusion. " 



1905.] 



ABRAHAM BISHOP AND HIS WRITINGS. 195 



•And he closes thus : — 

" If in any of you present, delusion has wrought its perfect work, if 
you have bowed the knee to the political Baal, if you are slavishly 
devoted to the self-stiled friends of order and good government, then bid 
an eternal adieu to the freedom which you never merited ; prepare your 
necks for the yoke, hail Issachar as your venerated ancestor, say to de- 
lusion, ' thou art our father,' and to funding system, federal city, foreign 
intercourse, army, navy, ' ye are our brethren and sisters.' " 

The flame of indignation at this performance, in a commu- 
nity overwhelmingly Federal, was fanned by two published 
replies, — one, issued within a week, anonymous in form, but 
by clear internal evidence the work of Mr. Bishop's class- 
mate, Noah Webster, then living in New Haven, which bore 
the stinging title, " A Rod for the Fool's Back," and the other 
also anonymous, published at Hartford a month later. 

The strategical boldness of this incident added to Bishop's 
popularity and prominence in the councils of his party, and 
led to his appointment as orator at a mammoth Republican 
festival held in Wallingford, in New Haven County, in March, 
1801, to celebrate the election of Jefferson and Burr, who 
had been inaugurated the week before. The occasion was a 
notable one, and the orator's contribution was ambitious and 
telling. It began with a suggested comparison, almost blas- 
phemous to many who would read it, between " the illustrious 
chief who, once insulted, now presides over the Union," and 
the Saviour of the world, " who, once insulted, now presides 
over the universe " ; and then proceeded to develop, at great 
length and with many distinct personal allusions, the propo- 
sition " that the character of the self-stiled friends of order 
and good government, at the beginning of the Christian aera, 
in the successive ages since, and at the present moment, is 
precisely the same combination of error, self-love, deceit, hos- 
tility to the true interests of man, persecution and cruelty." 

The style, and to some extent the arguments, are the same 
as in the author's New Haven oration, and the local situation 
in Connecticut is held up to the strongest reprobation. This 
was in fact almost the opening gun in the long campaign which 
ended in the adoption of the State Constitution of 1818. 

When it was printed, an appendix of half a dozen pages was 
added, giving a racy account, from the author's point of view, 



196 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

of the Phi Beta Kappa affair in all its details. Raciest per- 
haps of all its hits was that addressed to Noah Webster, who 
was fond of giving advice, and is here advised in turn " to 
persecute to conviction and sentence of death, the man or men 
who ever told him that he had talents as a writer." 

This pamphlet was quite of a sort to recommend Mr. Bishop 
to the President's approval, and no wonder that the Federal- 
ists surmised some connection between the oration published 
in May, 1801, and the appointment by Jefferson in June of 
Deacon Samuel Bishop, then almost an octogenarian, as Col- 
lector of the Port. It was of course charged that the nomina- 
tion of the highly respectable father was a blind to cover what 
was practically a reward for the highly obnoxious son ; and it 
was thoroughly characteristic of Abraham Bishop that he him- 
self presently took a hand in the controversy. After the New 
Haven remonstrants against the appointment had memorial- 
ized the President, and the President had replied to them, the 
new Collector's son published over his own name, in a short- 
lived New Haven newspaper called " The Sun of Liberty," a 
slashing criticism of his opponents, which is even now vastly 
amusing reading. The opening sentences are as follows : — 

" When the islanders of Melita saw the venomous beast fasten upon 
the hand of Paul, they considered it a gone case with him ; but Paul 
shook the beast from his hand and felt no harm. From this we learn 
that the Melita salamanders were very harmless, for with all their dis- 
position to destroy they had not the power. I have no intention of 
comparing myself with Paul, but my direct object will be to show 
that a number of the New Haven remonstrants are a miserable set of 
Salamanders." 

In 1802 Mr. Bishop appeared as an author in a more preten- 
tious manner by the publication of an octavo volume of 166 
pages, entitled " Proofs of a Conspiracy against Christianity, 
and the Government of the United States; exhibited in several 
views of the union of Church and State in New-England." 

The title was of course parodied from that of a foolish book 
issued rive years before by Professor Robison, of Edinburgh, 
which had been widely read on both sides of the Atlantic, 
" Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Govern- 
ments of Europe, carried on in the secret Meetings of Free- 
masons, llluminati, etc." 



1905. j ABRAHAM BISHOP AND HIS WRITINGS. 197 

To those who know Connecticut history it is evident that 
our author's book, dealing with the union of Church and State, 
was really an argument for a revision of the State Constitution. 
I quote a few sentences from the Preface, to show the spirit 
of the whole : — 

" Living in the midst of men whom my subject contemplates, it has 
occurred to me that their steady habits and good professions have 
brought them sufficient profits, and that our pious ancestors have been 
bought and sold often enough ; therefore that some man, who has paid 
his proportion for these habits, should take it in charge to put an end 
to the traffic, and to place the dealers in a way of laying in a new stock 
of their own manufacture. 

" This subject is like a new country ; he who first enters into it must 
encounter some briers and some serpents ; but a succession of laborers, 
working with their axes at the roots, will open a way through the wil- 
derness, and hereafter the solitary place will be glad for them, and the 
desert will rejoice." 

In this, as in his former pieces, but with even a more unre- 
strained tongue, the author indulges in the frankest and most 
pungent dissection of, and attacks upon, his contemporaries and 
neighbors, and in shrewd exposure of the weak points in the 
Federal armor. He was more in his element as a pamphleteer ; 
but his book remains as a part of the effective warfare of a 
long campaign. 

After this, Mr. Bishop but once more appeared in a printed 
pamphlet with his own name. This was in 1804, and the 
performance was another " Oration " professedly in honor of 
Jefferson and the acquisition of Louisiana, delivered at a 
Republican festival in Hartford ; but the main strength of the 
orator was given, as before, to a scathing arraignment of the 
abuses of Connecticut government under the old alliance of 
Church and State. Here, for the first time, the discovery was 
announced that Connecticut was without a constitution, and 
a constitutional convention was, for the first time, prominently 
advocated. I quote a single paragraph, which suggests the 
trend of the main argument : — 

" Republicans, what our eyes have seen, what our ears have heard, 
and what we have personally experienced, will be better impressed on 
our memories than what our fathers have told us. We have lived in a 
State, which, exhibiting to the world a democratic exterior, has actually 



198 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [Mar. 

practised within itself all the arts of an organized aristocracy, under the 
management of the old firm of Moses and Aaron." 

I ought also to refer to two other pamphlets in this contest, 
for which he was responsible, though not bearing his name. 
One, issued in 1802, without any name of place or printer, was 
entitled " Church and State, a Political Union, formed by the 
enemies of both"; and consisted mainly of the documents 
connected with two famous quarrels of that date, — the first 
between the Rev. Stanley Griswold, of New Milford, and the 
Rev. Dan Huntington, of Litchfield, Connecticut, and the 
second between Colonel Ephraim Kirby, of Litchfield, and 
the Rev. Joseph Lyman, of Hatfield, Massachusetts. Both 
were occasioned by accusations of slander, growing out of 
political rancor, and chiefly interesting in connection with the 
personal fortunes of the participants. 

In 1804 he wrote and published another pamphlet, which 
purported to be an " Address by Major William Judd," of 
Farming ton, to the people of the State, on his prosecution 
before the General Assembly for taking part, though an office- 
holder, in a convention which denied the legal powers of the 
existing government. The pamphlet remains as a landmark 
in the struggle which Judd himself did not live to see. 

In 1804 Abraham Bishop was forty-one years of age. He 
was just settled in a lucrative public office, which imposed re- 
sponsibility and dignity beyond ordinary private station ; and 
with this year his activity in the role of public censor ceased. 
He still made himself felt through anonymous writing in the 
newspapers ; but his appearances in pamphlet warfare were 
practically over. 

One of the few known specimens of his further authorship is 
"Some Remarks " published without his name in 1808 in criti- 
cism of a letter by the Hon. Timothy Pickering, then a Senator 
from Massachusetts, which condemned Jefferson's policy of an 
embargo as likely to lead to war with England. The change 
of tone in this pamphlet as compared with most of Mr. Bishop's 
other writings, is very marked ; and the result is a decorous 
and loyal defence of the President, without the personal assaults 
and local allusions which are so characteristic of his earlier 
essays. It is all very proper, but alas ! very dull. 

I trace his hand only once more in any separate publication, 



1905.] ABRAHAM BISHOP AND HIS WRITINGS. 199 

and this is in an anonymous pamphlet published in 1824, made 
up of articles contributed to a New Haven newspaper in that 
year and entitled " Remarks on Dr. Griffin's Requisition for 
700,000 Ministers." These form a slashing criticism of a speech 
at a meeting of the American Education Society in New York 
by the Rev. Dr. Edward D. Griffin, then President of Williams 
College, in which he made a somewhat rhetorical plea for the 
evangelization of the world. In this Mr. Bishop finds an 
excuse for a caustic attack on the policy of foreign missions 
and kindred enterprises. He pretends to find in the advocacy 
of the spread of missions, of Bible distribution, and of ministerial 
education, renewed dangers to civil and religious liberty. 

In the preparation of these hasty notes I have glanced over 
nearly eight hundred pages of Abraham Bishop's published 
compositions, and they leave with me the clear impression of 
strong native ability, combined with quick mother- wit, and a 
keen perception of the ludicrous. Convinced of the justice of 
his own contention, he gave his adversaries hard blows, de- 
livered fairly and squarely. 

In a time of intense party feeling, no doubt there were in- 
trigues on both sides, and I am far from claiming that his 
skirts were clear of blame ; but although in his writings there 
is abundance of vanit}^, of perverse logic, and of bad rhetoric, 
there is also a certain buoyancy and openness, an absolute 
fearlessness and apparent confidence in his cause, which com- 
pel one's sympathy if not one's admiration. In his palmy 
fighting days one can see that he relished the combat heartily, 
and he carries his reader with him to the finish, whether he 
makes him a convert or not. We stay to see the end of the 
fun, and there lingers with us a kindly feeling for the sturdy 
champion who has kept us so well entertained in a plucky 
fight against tremendous odds. And when the full history of 
Connecticut politics in the beginning of the nineteenth century 
comes to be written, there will be no more interesting or 
diverting chapter than that which treats of Abraham Bishop. 

Remarks were made during the meeting by Messrs. Wil- 
liam R. Thayer, Grenville H. Norcross, Edmund F. 
Slaeter, and James F. Hunnewell. 

A new volume of the Proceedings — volume eighteen of 
the second series — was ready for distribution at this meeting. 



200 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 



ANNUAL MEETING, APRIL, 1905. 

The Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, the 13th in- 
stant, at twelve o'clock, noon. In the continued absence of 
the President, who had not returned from his visit to Egypt, 
the senior Vice-President was in the chair. 

After the reading of the record of the March meeting and 
of the list of donors to the Library, the Vice-President 
said : — 

I have learned only recently of the death of the Abbe Henri 
Raymond Casgrain, of Quebec, who was chosen a Correspond- 
ing Member of this Society on February 12, 1891. He was a 
son of the Hon. Charles E. and Elizabeth Anne (Baby) Cas- 
grain, and was born on December 16, 1831, at Riviere Ouelle, 
County of Kamouraska, Province of Quebec. He died on 
February 11, 1904, in the Convent of Les Religieuses du Bon- 
Pasteur, Quebec, to which he retired during the last thirty 
years of his life. The Abbe* had been a prolific writer of his- 
torical works and papers, particularly those connected with 
Canadian subjects. He was a warm friend of Francis Park- 
man, and like him was afflicted with a severe affection of 
the eyes, which at times compelled him to withdraw from all 
literary labor. He studied theology and was ordained to the 
priesthood, but owing to his physical disability he was obliged 
to give up active ministerial duties. Among his works is a 
sketch of Parkman, published at Quebec in 1872, which gives 
a short account of the author's visit to Harvard College 
together with allusions to Longfellow and Agassiz. 

Rev. Dr. Edmund F. Sl after presented a play-bill or sum- 
mary of " Don Juan ; or the Libertine destroyed : a grand 
pantomimical ballad, in two parts, as performed at the Boston 
Theatre," between the 2d of November, 1795, and the 20th of 
January, 1796, which he thought was of considerable interest, 
as it indicates to some degree the character of the Boston 
theatre at that early period. 



1905.] REPORT OF THE COUNCIL. 201 

Mr. Henry G. Pearson, of Boston, author of the Life of 
Governor Andrew, was elected a Resident Member. 

Mr. Don Gleason Hill was appointed to write the memoir of 
the late John T. Hassam. 

Mr. Nathaniel Paine communicated the memoir of the 
late Hon. George F. Hoar, the preparation of which had been 
assigned to him and to Mr. G. Stanley Hall ; and in the ab- 
sence of their respective authors the memoirs of Hon. John S. 
Brayton by William W. Crapo and of Henry Lee by John 
T. Morse, Jr., were presented by Mr. Charles C. Smith. 

Mr. William R. Thayer, Senior Member at Large of the 
Council, presented their report, as follows : — 

Report of the Council, 

It falls to me, as senior member at large of the Council, to 
present its annual statement. The year has been marked by 
no innovations ; therefore my report need not be long. The 
Society has held its specified number of meetings, transacted 
its customary business, and made its usual gain in its collec- 
tions of books and documents. It has published one volume 
of Collections, 7th series, Vol. IV., containing the second 
part of the Heath Papers, and one Volume of Proceedings, 2d 
series, Vol. XVIIL, November, 1903-December, 1904. At its 
meetings it has listened to nearly twenty papers, — besides 
extemporaneous remarks, — some of which are of permanent 
importance. 

During the year we have elected five Resident Members, 
viz. : Charles Henry Dalton, June 9, 1904 ; Charles Homer 
Haskins, December 8, 1904 ; John Davis Long, January 12, 
1905 ; Don Gleason Hill, February 9, 1905 ; and Theodore 
Clarke Smith, March 9, 1905. We have also elected five 
Corresponding Members, viz. : Frederick Jackson Turner, 
April 14, 1904 ; Sir Spencer Walpole, December 8, 1904 ; 
William Archibald Dunning, January 12, 1905; James Schouler, 
February 9, 1905 ; and George Parker Winship, March 9, 1905. 
We have added to our Honorary Membership list the names 
of Adolf Harnack, June 9, 1904 ; John Morley, October 
18, 1904 ; Goldwin Smith, December 8, 1904 ; and Ernest 
Lavisse, February 9, 1905. 

The unusual increase in our Honorary Membership list came 
about in this way. Some four j^ears ago it was decided to 

26 



202 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

make honorary membership in this Society a conspicuous trib- 
ute to the achievement and standing of those persons who 
should be elected to it. . Accordingly, as places fell vacant, 
the plan has been to fill them only after a thorough canvass of 
the merits of possible candidates. We have had, in some 
cases, prolonged discussion over them, and the result has been 
to elect men of high attainments and of international reputa- 
tion. The death of Mommsen left a vacancy in the represen- 
tation of Germany, which Professor Adolf Harnack, of Berlin, 
was chosen to fill. In France the choice naturally fell on 
Professor Ernest Lavisse, the recognized dean of the very 
active school of French historical students. Mr. Morley and 
Professor Gold win Smith were promoted, honoris causa, from 
the Corresponding to the Honorary list. Mr. Morley's high 
rank was long ago established, but the recent publication 
of his " Life of Gladstone " raised him still higher, and 
made his recognition by this Society a fitting act. Mr. 
Gold win Smith, the patriarch of historians now writing in 
English, has, towards the close of his career, produced in 
u The United Kingdom " and " The United States " works 
which will carry down his influence and fame to new 
generations. 

The Society has lost by death five Resident Members, viz. : 
Elijah Winchester Donald, August 6, 1904 ; Henry Walbridge 
Taft, September 22, 1904 ; George Frisbie Hoar, September 
30, 1904; John Summerfield Brayton, October 30, 1904; 
and Samuel Edward Herrick, December 4, 1904. Of these five, 
Senator Hoar was a regular attendant at our meetings when 
public business did not keep him at Washington. He was never 
a silent member. We lost in him a figure of national impor- 
tance, an historic figure, the last of the Puritans. It is proper 
to record here that he was instrumental in having the Brad- 
ford Manuscript restored by the Bishop of London, England, 
to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A Corresponding 
Member — John Foster Kirk — died September 21, 1904. He 
was the secretary of Prescott the historian, and subsequently 
won distinction as the author of a life of " Charles the Bold.'* 
Another Corresponding Member, Henri R. Casgrain, the friend 
of Parkman, died February 11, 1904. 

Two active members have resigned, — Professor Arthur 
Latham Perry, of Williams College, and Professor James 



1905.] EEPORT OF THE COUNCIL. . 203 

Schouler. The latter having changed his residence to New 
Hampshire, became ineligible to active membership, and was 
elected a Corresponding Member. 

There are to-day three vacancies in the Resident Membership 
and one among the Corresponding Members. Memoirs of de- 
ceased members have been presented as follows : H. S. Nourse, 
by S. S. Shaw ; E. L. Pierce, by J. F. Rhodes ; Edmund 
Quincy, by J. P. Quincy ; P. A. Chadbourne, by J. M. Barker; 
and W. A. Field, by John Noble. 

It is unnecessary to give a list of the papers read and topics 
discussed at our meetings, for, they are duly chronicled in the 
Proceedings. Nevertheless, I may call attention to such im- 
portant contributions as u Hamilton's Notes on the Federal Con- 
vention of 1787," communicated by Mr. W. C. Ford ; to Colonel 
T. L. Livermore's exhaustive study on " The Numbers in the 
Confederate Army, 1861-1865 " ; to Professor James Schouler's 
account of the "Calhoun, Jackson, and Van Buren Papers" ; 
and to Mr. J. F. Rhodes's discussion of "Negro Suffrage and 
Reconstruction," all of which possess unusual value for a large 
audience of historical students. Nor should I fail to mention 
Edward Everett's autobiography, which makes memorable the 
volume in which it appears for the first time. 

The chief public act of the Society has been its endeavor, 
by memorializing Congress, to preserve the frigate Constitution. 
It was represented at the tercentenary celebrations in Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick, and it has furnished, at the request 
of the Massachusetts Legislature, a committee to consider plans 
for a monument to John Adams and John Quincy Adams. 

The annual report of our Treasurer always merits attention. 
This year it is particularly interesting. Among other items, it 
shows the final payment of the Sibley bequest. Mr. Sibley's 
Fund stands at $156,727.24, and Mrs. Sibley's Fund at 
$22,509.48, making a total of $179,236.72, the largest benefac- 
tion ever received by the Society. The invested capital is 
charged on the books at $407,174.12, but its market value is 
much higher. The real estate stands at $97,593.32, but the 
valuation of the Boston assessors is double that sum. The 
income from investments was about 5.25 per cent. 

In retiring from the Council after three years' service, I 
may be permitted to make one or two personal suggestions. 
It is most desirable that our Society, which has now so ample 






204 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

a material plant, should become more and more an active force 
in promoting historical study. Our precious collections should 
be made as accessible as possible. Our methods should be up 
to date. We should not be content with passive service, but 
should organize to do our share among the leaders of American 
historical work. 

A society like this should be a granary to which investi- 
gators may come freely, fill their sacks, and go hence to feed 
many minds. There is always the danger that instead of a 
granary, there may be a mausoleum, in which the most pre- 
cious material has a magnificent but unavailing preservation. 
The Massachusetts Historical Society is venerable from its age. 
It had, through good fortune which is not likely to be re- 
peated, many of the most illustrious makers of American lit- 
erature and writers of history among its active members during 
the nineteenth century. It has now a fine house for its printed 
and manuscript stores. But it cannot hope to retain its primacy 
simply by sitting still. It must be the first, not only in age 
and illustrious membership and in precious historical posses- 
sions, but in fruitful service. Not only to collect, but to share 
and spread, must be the aim of our Society. 

The following is a list of such publications by members, 
during the year, as have come to the knowledge of the 
Council: — 

The Harvard Tuition Fee : its proposed increase. By Charles Francis 
Adams. Reprinted from the September Harvard Graduates' Maga- 
zine. Corrected, revised, and enlarged. 

The Milestone Planted. Address delivered by Charles Francis Adams 
at Lincoln, Massachusetts, April 23, 1904, the one hundred and 
fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of the town. Limited 
edition, privately printed. 

The Richard Cobden Centennial. Speech of Charles Francis Adams 
at the Dinner of the [New England] Free Trade League at the 
Hotel Vendome, Boston, on the evening of June 3, 1904. 

The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay : to which are prefixed the Charters of the Province. 
With historical and explanatory notes, and an appendix. Volume 
XII., being Volume VII. of the appendix containing Resolves, etc., 
1734-1741. Edited by Melville M. Bigelow. 

Present Phases of our so-called Negro Problem. Open letter to the 
Right Honorable James Bryce, M.P., of England. By D. H. 
Chamberlain. 






1905.] 



KEPORT OF THE COUNCIL. 



205 



A Christmas Eve Family Story. By Charles II. Dalton. 

Great Captains. Napoleon. A History of the Art of War, from the 
beginning of the French Revolution to the end of the eighteenth 
century, with a detailed account of the Wars of the French Rev- 
olution. By Theodore A. Dodge. Vols. I., II. 

John Gilley. By Charles W. Eliot. 

The Italian poets since Dante, accompanied by verse translations. 
Lowell Institute Lectures. By William Everett. 

Peabody Education Fund. Proceedings of the Trustees at their Forty- 
fifth Meeting, New York, 2 November, 1904. With the annual 
report of the General Agent. Edited by Samuel A. Green, Sec- 
retary and General Agent. 

Peabody Education Fund. Proceedings of the Trustees at their Forty- 
sixth Meeting, Washington, 24 January, 1905. Edited by Samuel 

A. Green, Secretary and General Agent. 

The American Nation ; a History from Original Sources by Associated 
Scholars. Edited by Albert Bushnell Hart, advised by various 
Historical Societies. Vols. I. to V., of which Vol. III. contains 
" Spain in America, 1450-1580," by our Corresponding Member, 
Prof. Edward Gaylord Bourne. 

The Cathedral. An Address by the Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, 
D.D., to the Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts, May 4, 
1904. 

Diocese of Massachusetts. Eleventh Annual Address of the Rt. Rev. 
William Lawrence, D. D., to the Convention of the Diocese, de- 
livered in Trinity Church, Boston, May 4, a. d. 1904, at its one 
hundred and nineteenth annual meeting. 

History of the Eighteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, 1864-5. By 
Thomas L. Livermore. 

Sermon given at the National Council of Congregational Churches, Des 
Moines, Iowa, October 16, 1904. By Alexander McKenzie. 

Record of the Court of Assistants of the Colony of the Massachusetts 
Bay, 1630-1692. Printed under the supervision of John Noble. 
Volume II. 

Letters of John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton. In two volumes. 
Edited by Mr. Norton. 

History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850. Vol. V. 
1864-1866. By James Ford Rhodes. 

Dr. [Samuel] Langdon (1723-1797), of Boston, Portsmouth, Harvard 
College, and Hampton Falls. A biographical sketch. By Frank- 
lin B. Sanborn. 

New Hampshire. An Epitome of Popular Government. By Franklin 

B. Sanborn. [American Commonwealths.] 

The Diocesan Library, being the Twenty-first Annual Report made to 



206 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese 

of Massachusetts, held in Boston, May 4 and 5, 1904. 
House of John Procter, Witchcraft Martyr, 1692. Read before the 

Peabody Historical Society, September 2, 1903. By William P. 

Upham. 
Two Dutch Letters from Emden in Hanover, 1659 and 1661, to Evert 

Jansen Wendell of Fort Orange (now Albany, N. Y.). By 

William P. Upham. 
The Declaration of Independence. An Address by Winslow Warren, 

President of the Bunker Hill Monument Association, June 17, 

1904. 
The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature. Clark 

Lectures given at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the year 

1902-1903. By Barrett Wendell. 

The Annual Report of the Treasurer and the Report of the 
Auditing Committee were presented in print, as has been cus- 
tomary for many years past. 

Report of the Treasurer. 

In compliance with the requirements of the By-Laws, 
Chapter VII., Article 1, the Treasurer respectfully submits 
his Annual Report, made up to March 31, 1905. 

The special funds held by him are twenty-one in number, 
and are as follows : — 

I. The Appleton Fund, which was created Nov. 18, 1851, 
by a gift to the Society, from Nathan Appleton, William Ap- 
ple ton, and Nathaniel I. Bowditch, trustees under the will of 
Samuel Appleton, of stocks of the appraised value of ten thou- 
sand dollars. These stocks were subsequently sold for 112,203, 
at which sum the fund now stands. The income is applicable 
to " the procuring, preserving, preparation, and publication of 
historical papers." 

II. The Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund, which 
now stands, with the accumulated income, at $10,000. This 
fund originated in a gift of two thousand dollars from the 
lion. David Sears, presented Oct. 15, 1855, and accepted by 
the Society Nov. 8, 1855. On Dec. 26, 1866, it was increased 
by a gift of five hundred dollars from Mr. Sears, and another 
of the same amount from another associate, Nathaniel Thayer. 
The annual income must be added to the principal between 
July and January, or by " a recorded vote " of " the Society " 



1905.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 207 

it may u be expended in such objects as to them may be desir- 
able." The directions in Mr. Sears's declaration of trust may 
be found in the printed Proceedings for November, 1855. 

III. The Dowse Fund, given to the Society by George 
Livermore and Eben. Dale, executors of the will of Thomas 
Dowse, April 9, 1857, for the " safe keeping" of the Dowse 
Library, which was formally given by Mr. Dowse to the So- 
ciety in July, 1856. It amounts to 110,000. The income for 
the year has been placed to the credit of the General Account, 
in accordance with what was understood to be the wish of 
the executors. 

IV. The Peabody Fund, which was presented by the 
eminent banker and philanthropist George Peabody, in a letter 
dated Jan. 1, 1867, and now stands at $22,123. The income 
is available only for the publication and illustration of the 
Society's Proceedings and Memoirs, and for the preservation 
of the Society's Historical Portraits. 

V. The Savage Fund, which was a bequest from the Hon. 
James Savage, President from 1841 to 1855, received in June, 
1873, and now stands on the books at the sum of $6,000. The 
income is to be used for the increase of the Society's Library. 

VI. The Erastus B. Bigelow Fund, which was given in 
February, 1881, by Mrs. Helen Bigelow Merriman, in recogni- 
tion of her father's interest in the work of the Society. The ori- 
ginal sum was one thousand dollars ; but the interest was 
added to the principal to bring the amount up to $2,000, at 
which it now stands. There is no restriction as to the use to 
be made of this fund ; but up to the present time the income 
has been used only for the purchase of books for the Library. 

VII. The William Winthrop Fund, which amounts to 
the sum of $3,000, and was received Oct. 13, 1882, under the 
will of William Winthrop, for many years a Corresponding 
Member of the Societ} 7 . The income is to be applied " to the 
binding for better preservation of the valuable manuscripts 
and books appertaining to the Society." 

VIII. The Richard Frothingham Fund, which repre- 
sents a gift to the Society, on the 23d of March, 1883, from 
the widow of Richard Frothingham, Treasurer from 1847 to 
1877, of a certificate of twenty shares in the Union Stock Yard 
and Transit Co., of Chicago, of the par value of $100 each, 
and of the stereotype plates of Mr. Frothingham's " Siege of 



208 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Boston," " Life of Joseph Warren," and " Rise of the Repub- 
lic." The fund stands on the Treasurer's books at $3,000, 
exclusive of the copyright. There are no restrictions on the 
uses to which the income may be applied. 

IX. The General Fund, which now amounts to 143,674.43. 
It represents the following gifts and payments to the 
Society, and withdrawals from the Building Account: — 

1. A gift of two thousand dollars from the residuary estate 
of Mary Prince Townsend, by the executors of her will, 
William Minot and William Minot, Jr., in recognition of 
which, by a vote of the Society, passed June 13, 1861, the 
Treasurer was " directed to make and keep a special entry in 
his account books of this contribution as the donation of Miss 
Mary P. Townsend." 

2. A legacy of two thousand dollars from Henry Harris, 
received in July, 1867. 

3. A legacy of one thousand dollars from our associate 
George Bemis, received in March, 1879. 

4. A gift of one hundred dollars from our associate Ralph 
Waldo Emerson, received in April, 1881. 

5. A legacy of one thousand dollars from our associate 
Williams Latham, received in May, 1884. 

6. A bequest of five shares in the Cincinnati Gas-Light 
and Coke Co. from George Dexter, Recording Secretary 
from 1878 to 1883, received in June, 1884. This bequest for 
several years stood on the Treasurer's books at $900, at which 
sum the shares were valued when the incomes arising from 
separate investments were all merged in one consolidated 
account. Besides the regular quarterly dividends there has 
been received up to the present time from the sale of sub- 
scription rights, etc., the sum of $337.56, which has been 
added to the nominal amount of Mr. Dexter's bequest. 

7. A legacy of one thousand dollars from our associate 
Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, received in February, 1895. 

8. A gift of one hundred dollars from Horace Davis, a 
Corresponding Member, received in April, 1904. 

9. A gift of one hundred dollars from our associate Edward 
D. Harris, received in March, 1905. 

10. Twenty-nine commutation fees of one hundred and 
fifty dollars each. 

11. The sum of $29,955.17 was withdrawn from the proceeds 



1905] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 209 

of the sale of the Tremont Street estate, and added to this 
fund; and the sum of $731.70 received from the Medical 
Library for cost of party- wall was deducted from the cost of 
the real estate and added to this fund. 

X. The Anonymous Fund, which originated in a gift 
of $1,000 to the Society in April, 1887, communicated in a 
letter to the Treasurer, from a valued associate, printed in the 
Proceedings (2d series, vol. iii. pp. 277, 278). A further gift 
of $250 was received from the same generous friend in April, 

1888. The income has been added to the principal; and in 
accordance with the instructions of the giver this policy is to 
be continued (see Proceedings, 2d series, vol. xiii. pp. 66, 67). 
The fund now stands at $3,102.74. 

XL The William Amory Fund, which was a bequest of 
$3,000, from our associate William Amory, received Jan. 7, 

1889. There are no restrictions on the uses to which the 
income may be applied. 

XII. The Lawrence Fund, which was a bequest of 
$3,000, from our associate the younger Abbott Lawrence 
(H. U., Class of 1849), received in June, 1894. The income 
is " to be expended in publishing the Collections and Pro- 
ceedings " of the Society. The cost of publishing Volume 

XVII. of the Second Series of the Proceedings was charged 
against the income of this fund. 

XIII. The Robert C. Winthrop Fund, which was a be- 
quest of $5,000, from the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, Presi- 
dent from 1855 to 1885, received in December, 1894. No 
restrictions were attached to this bequest; but by a vote of 
the Society passed Dec. 13, 1894, it was directed that the 
income " shall be expended for such purposes as the Council 
may from time to time direct." 

XIV. The Waterston Publishing Fund, which was a 
bequest of $10,000, from our associate the Rev. Robert C. 
Waterston, received in December, 1894. The income is to be 
used as a publishing fund, in accordance with the provisions 
of Mr. Waterston's will printed in the Proceedings (2d series, 
vol. viii. pp. 172, 173). The cost of publishing Volume 

XVIII. of the Second Series of the Proceedings, was charged 
against the income of this fund. 

XV. The Ellis Fund, which originated in a bequest to 
the Society of $30,000, by Dr. George E. Ellis, President from 

27 



210 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

1885 to 1891. This sum was paid into the Treasury Dec. 20, 
1895 ; and to it has been added the sum of $1,663.66 received 
from the sale of various articles of personal property, also given 
to the Society by Dr. Ellis, which it was not thought desirable 
to keep, making the whole amount of the fund $31,663.66. No 
part of the original sum can be used for the purchase of other 
real estate in exchange for the real estate specifically devised 
by Dr. Ellis's will. 

Besides the bequest in money, Dr. Ellis by his will gave to 
the Society his dwelling-house No. 110 Marlborough Street, 
with substantially all its contents. In the exercise of the dis- 
cretion which the Society was authorized to use, this house 
was sold for the sum of $25,000, and the proceeds invested in 
the more eligible estate on the corner of the Fenway and 
Boylston Street. The full sum received from the sale was 
entered on the Treasurer's books, to the credit of Ellis 
House, in perpetual memory of Dr. Ellis's gift. 

XVI. The Lowell Fund, which was a bequest of the 
Hon. John Lowell (H. U., Class of 1843), amounting to $3,000, 
received Sept. 13, 1897. There are no restrictions on the uses 
to which the income ma}^ be applied. 

XVII. The Waterston Fund, which was received April 
21, 1900, in full satisfaction of a bequest from our associate 
the Rev. Robert C. Waterston. Some legal questions hav- 
ing arisen in connection with this bequest, the matter was 
compromised, and the sum of $5,000 was received, as stated 
in the Proceedings (2d series, vol. xiv. pp. 163, 164). The 
income is to be used for printing a catalogue of the Waterston 
Library, for printing documents from it, and for making addi- 
tions to the Library from time to time. The catalogue of the 
Library is now ready for the press; and it is expected that the 
volume will be issued in the course of the next financial year. 

XVIII. The Waterston Fund No. 2, which was a fur- 
ther bequest of 110,000 from Mr. Waterston, in regard to 
which there were no legal questions, and which was also re- 
ceived April 21, 1900. The income is to be used for " print- 
ing and publishing any important or interesting autograph, 
original manuscripts, letters or documents which may be in 
possession of" the Society. 

Besides the three funds, for the creation of which provision 
was made by Mr. Waterston's will, the Treasurer received, 






1905.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 211 

under the will, the sum of $10,000, to be applied to the fitting 
up of a room or portion of a fire-proof building for the com- 
modious and safe keeping of the Waterston Collection. A 
room was accordingly set apart for that purpose, and the 
larger part of this sum was expended in making it con- 
venient and attractive. Some further expenditures must be 
made on this account, and any balance of cash remaining 
in the hands of the Treasurer will be used, in accordance with 
the terms of the will, in adding books to the collection, under 
the direction of the Council. 

XIX. The Robert Charles Billings Fund. This was 
a gift of $10,000, received April 16, 1903, from the surviving 
executors of the will of the late Robert Charles Billings. The 
income is to be used only for publications. The cost of pub- 
lishing Volume XIX. of the Second Series of the Proceedings 
will be charged against the income of tins fund. 

XX. The John Langdon Sibley Fund, which was cre- 
ated under the will of our associate, printed in the Proceedings 
(2d series, vol. ii. pp. 168-170), was received in two instal- 
ments, Aug. 5, 1903, and April 18, 1904. The income must 
be applied in the manner set forth in Mr. Sibley's will. The 
fund now stands on the books at $156,727.24. 

XXI. The Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund, which was 
created under her will, printed in the Proceedings (2d series, 
vol. xvi. pp. 21-23), was also received in two instalments, 
Aug. 5, 1903, and April 18, 1904. There are no restrictions 
on the uses to which the income may be applied, and it has 
been carried to the credit of the General Account. The fund 
stands at $22,509.48. 

On Dec. 16, 1903, the Treasurer received from the ex- 
ecutors under the will of our associate the late Hon. Mellen 
Chamberlain the sum of $5,520, on account of Judge Cham- 
berlain's bequest to the Society to defray the cost of publishing 
his " History of Chelsea." This bequest will be treated for 
the present as an open account, — all payments for the His- 
tory being charged to it, and interest credited on unexpended 
balances available for the purpose. It is expected that a 
further sum will be received on the final settlement of Judge 
Chamberlain's estate. 

The Treasurer also holds a deposit book in the Five Cent 
Savings Bank for $100 and interest, which is applicable to the 



212 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

care and preservation of the beautiful model of the Brattle 
Street Church, deposited with us in April, 1877. 

In January, 1905, the Treasurer received from our associate 
Thomas Minns the gift of one of the earliest deposit books 
issued by the " Provident Institution for Savings in the Town 
of Boston," to Miss Maria Antoinette Parker, February 21, 
1821, with a transfer of the balance of principal and interest 
now or hereafter to be represented by it. Whenever the 
interest amounts to $25, it is to be used for the purchase of 
books for the Library ; and the deposit book itself is to be kept 
as an interesting relic of the earlier time. It is worthy of notice 
that a former Treasurer and President of this Society, James 
Savage, w r as one, of the founders and afterward President of 
the Provident Institution, and that the two corporations were 
for a considerable period joint owners of the estate on Tremont 
Street which they jointly occupied. 

As these two deposit books represent constantly varying 
sums, it has not been thought desirable to include them in the 
General Fund, to which they naturally belong, though the 
income from them is applicable only to prescribed uses. 

It should not be forgotten that besides the gifts and bequests 
represented by these funds, which the Treasurer is required to 
take notice of in his Annual Report, numerous gifts have been 
made to the Society from time to time, and expended for the 
purchase of the real estate, or in promoting the objects for 
which the Society was organized. A detailed account of these 
gifts was included in the Annual Report of the Treasurer, 
dated March 31, 1887, printed in the Proceedings (2d series, 
vol. iii. pp. 291-296) ; and in the list of the givers there enu- 
merated will be found the names of many honored associates, 
now living or departed, and of other gentlemen, not members 
of the Society, who were interested in the promotion of histori- 
cal studies. They gave liberally in the day of small things ; 
and to them the Society is largely indebted for its present 
prosperity and usefulness. 

To the benefactors there mentioned must be added Charles 
Francis Adams, President of the Society, who, in the sum- 
mer of 1895, bought a lot of land on the Fenway (3,000 
square feet), with a view of adding it to the lot bought by 
the Society, in case the latter should prove too small. When 
the plans for the new building were drawn, it was found to 



1905.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 213 

be desirable to make some change in the lines of the Society's 
estate, and the lot bought by the President was conveyed to 
the Society, with a verbal understanding that he should re- 
ceive for it an equal quantity of land on Boylston Street. In 
February, 1901, a portion of unoccupied land on Boylston 
Street (2,622-j 4 ^ square feet) was sold to indemnify the Presi- 
dent for the land conveyed by him to the Society. The dif- 
ference ($3,000) between the sum paid by the President 
(115,000) and the amount received for the land sold ($12,000) 
was an absolute gift to the Society, and to this difference must 
be added the interest on $15,000 from the date of the original 
purchase up to the date of sale of the Boylston Street land, a 
period of nearly six years. 

The stock and bonds held by the Treasurer as investments 
on account of the above-mentioned funds are as follows : — 

$14,000 in the five per cent mortgage bonds of the Chicago and 
West Michigan Railroad Co., due 1921 ; 

$1,000 in a five per cent bond of the Chicago and North Michigan 
Railroad Co., due 1931 ; 

$5,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Rio Grande "Western Rail- 
road Co., due 1939; 

$8,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Chicago, Burlington, and 
Quincy Railroad Co., due 1921 ; 

$3,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Chicago, Burlington, and 
Quincy Railroad Co., due 1922; 

$4,000 in the three and one-half per cent bonds of the Chicago, 
Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Co., due 1949 ; 

$5,000 in the five per cent gold bonds of the Cincinnati, Dayton, 
and Ironton Railroad Co., due 1941 ; 

$14,500 in the four per cent mortgage bonds of the Atchison, 
Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Co., due 1995 ; 

$9,000 in the adjustment four per cent bonds, due 1995, and one 
hundred and fifty-eight shares of the preferred stock of the same cor- 
poration ; 

$11,000 in the five per cent collateral trust bonds of the Chicago 
Junction Railways and Union Stock Yards Co., due 1915 ; 

$10,000 in the five per cent bonds of the Oregon Short Line Railroad 
Co., due 1946; 

$6,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Oregon Short Line Railroad 
Co., due 1929; 

$12,000 in the five per cent bonds of the Lewiston-Concord Bridge Co., 
due 1924; 



214 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

$6,000 in the four and one half per cent bonds of the Boston and 
Maine Railroad Co., due 1944; 

$10,000 in the four per cent bonds of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Co., due 1929 ; 

$5 1,000 in the four per cent joint bonds of the Northern Pacific Rail- 
road Co. and the Great Northern Railroad Co., due 1921 ; 

$12,000 in the convertible five per cent bonds of the Kansas City 
Stock Yards Co., due 1913 ; 

$6,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Long Island Railroad Co., 
due 1949; 

$12,000 in the four per cent bonds of the New York Central and 
Hudson River Railroad Co., due 1934 ; 

$6,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Bangor and Aroostook 
Railroad Co., due 1951 ; 

$4,500 in the seven per cent bonds of the Atchison and Nebraska 
Railroad Co., due 1908; 

$22,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Burlington and Missouri 
River Railroad Co. in Nebraska, due 1910; 

$2,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Detroit, Grand Rapids and 
Western Railroad Co., due 1946; 

$9,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Fitchburg Railroad Co., due 
1927; 

$3,000 in the five per cent bonds of the Kansas City, Clinton and 
Springfield Railroad Co., due 1925; 

$5,000 in the seven per cent bonds of the Kansas City, St. Joseph 
and Council Bluffs Railroad Co., due 1907 ; 

$2,000 in the five per cent bonds of the Lowell, Lawrence and 
Haverhill Street Railway Co., due 1923 ; 

$6,000 in the four per cent bonds of the West End Street Railway 
Co., due 1915 ; 

$25,000 in the six per cent mortgage notes of G. St. L. Abbott, 
Trustee ; 

Fifty shares in the Merchants' National Bank of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the State National Bank of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the National Bank of Commerce of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the National Union Bank of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the Second National Bank of Boston ; 

Twenty-five shares in the National Shawmut Bank of Boston; 

Thirty-five shares in the Boston and Albany Railroad Co.; 

Twenty-five shares in the Old Colony Railroad Co. ; 

Twenty-five shares in the preferred stock of the Fitchburg Rail- 
road Co. ; 

One hundred and fifty shares in the preferred stock of the Chicago 
Junction Railways and Union Stock Yards Co. ; 



1905.] 



REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 



215 



Three hundred shares in the preferred stock of the American Smelt- 
ing and Refining Co. ; 

One hundred shares in the Kansas City Stock Yards Co. ; 

Ten shares in the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Co., received in ex- 
change for five shares in the Cincinnati Gas-Light and Coke Co. ; 

Five shares in the Boston Real Estate Trust (of the par value of $1,000); 

Five shares in the State Street Exchange ; and 

Three shares in the Pacific Mills (of the par value of $1,000). 

The net cost of these securities is $407,174.12 ; but their market value 
is much higher. 

The following abstracts and the trial balance show the pres- 
ent condition of the several accounts : — 



CASH ACCOUNT. 

1904. DEBITS * 

March 31. To balance on hand 13,247.92 

1905. 

March 31. „ receipts as follows : — 

General Account 3,064.27 

Consolidated Income 19,898.18 

Income of Richard Frothingham Fund 74.20 

General Fund 350.00 

Income of Savage Fund 3.60 

John Langdon Sibley Fund 3,271.23 

Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund 1,397.04 

Investments 32,386 1 5 

$63,69 2.59 

March 31. To balance brought down $2,070.42 

1905. credits. 
March 31. By payments as follows : — 

Investments $44,848.25 

Waterston Library 9.00 

Income of E. B. Bigelow Fund 204.60 

Income of Savage Fund 474.15 

Income of William Winthrop Fund 301.30 

Income of Waterston Publishing Fund 836 42 

Income of J. L. Sibley Fund 1,839.44 

Income of C. A. L. Sibley Fund 89.75 

Income of Appleton Fund 990.65 

Income of General Fund 1,538 80 

Income of Mass. Historical Trust Fund 24.50 

Income of R. C. Billings Fund 5.00 

Chamberlain Bequest *. . . . 1,015.33 

Consolidated Income 225.36 

Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund 2,000.00 

General Account 7,219.62 

„ balance on hand 2,070.42 

$63,692.59 



216 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

GENERAL ACCOUNT. 

1904. debits. 

March 31. To balance brought forward $9,899.56 

1905. 

March 31. „ sundry charges and payments : — 

Salaries of Librarian's Assistants 2,642.84 

Services of Janitor 955.00 

Printing and binding 146.65 

Stationery and postage 121.24 

Light 62.79 

Water 73.00 

Coal and wood 628.25 

Miscellaneous expenses 415.39 

Editing publications of the Society 2,000.00 

Repairs 174.46 

< - $17,119.18 

March 31. By balance brought down $6,594.00 

1905. CREDITS. 
March 31. By sundry receipts : — 

Interest $70.47 

Income of General Fund 727.33 

Income of Ellis Fund 1,656.21 

Income of Dowse Fund 523.06 

Admission Fees 125.00 

Assessments 630.00 

Sales of publications 507.43 

On account of expenses for maintenance, etc. . . . 1,719.52 

Income of J. L Sibley Fund 3,466.67 

Income of C. A. L. Sibley Fund 1,087.64 

Copyright, etc 11.85 

„ balance carried forward 6,594.00 

$17,119.18 
Income of General Fund. 

1905. DEBIT8 ' 

March 31. To amount paid for portrait of George Livermore and 

charges $1,538 80 

„ balance carried to General Account 727.33 

$2,266 13 

1905. CREDITS. 

March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $2,266.13 

Income of J. L. Sibley Fund. 

1905. . DEBITS - 

March 31. To amount transferred to General Account . . . . . $3,466.67 

„ payments in accordance with the will 1,839.44 

„ amount added to principal of J. L Sibley Fund . . . 2,022.96 

„ balance carried forward 6,253.61 

$13,582.68 









1905.] BEPORT OF THE TREASURER. 217 

1905. credits. 

March 31. By amount received from the executor $5,490.84 

„ proportion of consolidated income 8,091.84 

$13,582 68 
March 31. By balance brought down $6,253.61 

Income of C. A. L. Sibley Fund. 

1905. DEBIT8 ' 

March 31. To amount paid for books, etc $89.75 

„ balance carried to General Account 1.087.64 

$1,177.39 

1905. CREDITS. 

March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $1,177.39 

Income of Ellis Fund. 

DEBITS. 
1905. 

March 31. To amount carried to General Account $1,656.21 

1905. credits. 
March 31. By proportion of consolidated income . . $1,656.21 

Income of E. B. Bigelow Fund. 

1905. DEBITS ' 

March 31. To amount paid for books $204.60 

„ balance carried forward 717.16 

| $921.76 

1904. CREDITS. 

March 31. By balance brought forward $817.15 

1905. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 104.61 

$921.76 

March 31. By balance brought forward 1 $717.16 

Income of Massachusetts Historical Trust Fund. \ 

1905. DEBITS ' 

March 81. To amount paid for pedestals .......... $24.50 

„ balance carried forward 2,779.97 

* $2,804.47 

28 



218 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. t ApRIL > 

1904. credits. 

March 31. By balance brought forward $2,281.41 

1905. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 523.06 

$2,804.47 
March 31. By balance brought forward $2,779.97 

Income of Peabody Fund. 

1904. CREDITS. 
March 31. By balance brought forward - $654.81 

1905. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income ....... 1,157.17 

$1,811.98 

March 31. By amount brought down $1,811.98 

Income of Richard Frothingham Fund. 

1904. CREDITS ' 

March 31. By amount brought forward $1,521.01 

1905. 

March 31. „ copyright received 74.20 

„ proportion of consolidated income 156.92 

$1,752.13 

March 31. By amount brought down $1,752.13 

Income of Savage Fund. 

1904. DEBIT8> 

March 31. To balance brought forward $218.71 

1905. 
March 31. „ amount paid for books 474.15 

$692.86 
March 31. To balance brought forward $375.42 

1905. CREDITS. 

March 31. By allowance for volume returned $3.60 

„ proportion of consolidated income 313.84 

„ balance carried forward £75.42 

$692.86 

Income of Dowse Fund. 



1905. 



DEBITS. 



Marcli 31. To amount transferred to General Account $523.06 



1905. 



CREDITS. 



March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $523.06 



1905.] REPORT OF THE TREASURER. 219 

Income of William Winthrop Fund. 

1905. DEB,TS - 

March 31. To amount paid for binding $301.30 

„ balance carried forward 197.37 

" $498 .67 

CREDITS. 

1904. 
March 31. By balance brought forward $341.75 

1905. ' 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 156.92 

$498.67 
March 31. By balance brought forward $197.37 

Income of Appleton Fund. 

1905. DEBITS - 

March 31. To amount paid for printing collections $990.65 

„ balance carried forward 4,790.59 



$5,781.24 



1904. CREDITS. 



March 31. By amount brought forward $5,142.94 

1905. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 638.80 

$5,781.24 
March 31. By balance brought forward $4,790.59 

Chamberlain Bequest. 

DEBITS. 
1905. 

March 31. To amount paid for preparation of copy of " History " . $1,015.33 
" balance carried forward 4,435 94 

$5,451.27 

CREDITS. 
1904. 

March 31. By balance brought forward $5,261.13 

1905. 
March 31. „ amount of interest added 190.14 

. $5,451.27 

March 31. By balance brought down $4,435.94 

Waterston Publishing Fund. 

DEBITS. 

1905. 
March 31. To amount paid for publishing " Proceedings " .... $836.42 
„ balance carried forward 4,108.42 

$4,944.84 






220 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April/ 

19 q 4 CREDITS. 

March 31. By amount brought forward $4,421.78 

1905. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 523.06 

$4,944.84 
March 31. By balance brought down $4,108.42 

Income of Lawrence Fund. 

1904. CREDITS. 

March 31. By amount brought forward $129.29 

1905. 
March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 156.92 

$286.21 
March 31. By amount brought down $286.21 

Waterston Library. 

1905. DEBITS - 

March 31. To amount paid for books purchased $9.00 

„ balance carried forward 3,947.14 

$3,956.14 

CREDITS. 
1904. 

March 31. By balance brought forward $3,956.14 

1905. 
March 31. By amount brought down $3,947.14 

TRIAL BALANCE. 

DEBITS. 

Cash $2,070.42 

Investments 407,174.12 

Real Estate 97,593.32 

General Account 6,594.00 

Income of Savage Fund 375.42 

$513,807.28 

CREDITS. 

Building Account $72,593.32 

Ellis House 25,000.00 

AppletonFund 12,203.00 

Dowse Fund 10,000.00 

Massachusetts Historical Trust Fund 10,000.00 

Peabody Fund 22,123.00 

Carried forward $151,919.32 



1905.] REPORT OF THE AUDITING COMMITTEE. 221 

Brought forward $151,019.32 

Savage Fund 6,000.00 

Erastus B. Bigelow Fund 2,000.00 

William Winthrop Fund 3,000.00 

Richard Frotliingham Fund 3,000.00 

General Fund 43,674 43 

Anonymous Fund 3,102.74 

William Amory Fund 3,000.00 

Lawrence Fund 3,000.00 

Robert C. Winthrop Fund 5,000.00 

Waterston Publishing Fund 10,000.00 

Ellis Fund 31,663.66 

Lowell Fund 3,000.00 

Waterston Fund 5,000.00 

Waterston Fund No. 2 10,000.00 

Robert Charles Billings Fund 10,000.00 

John Langdon Sibley Fund 156,727.24 

Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund 22,509 48 

Chamberlain Bequest 4,435.94 

Waterston Library 3,947.14 

Income of Lowell Fund • . . . . 1,219.77 

Income of Appleton Fund . 4,790.59 

Income of William Winthrop Fund 197.37 

Income of Massachusetts Historical Trust Fund 2,779.97 

Income of Richard Frotliingham Fund „ . . . . 1,752.13 

Income of William Amory Fund 949.60 

Income of E. B. Bigelow Fund 717.16 

Income of Lawrence Fund 286.21 

Income of Robert C. Winthrop Fund 2,656.78 

Income of Waterston Publishing Fund 4,108.42 

Income of Waterston Fund 1,396.19 

Income of Waterston Fund No. 2 2,792.37 

Income of Robert C. Billings Fund 1,115.18 

Income of Peabody Fund 1,811.98 

Income of J. L. Sibley Fund 6,253.61 

$513,807.28 



The income for the year derived from the investments and 
credited to the several funds, in proportion to the amount at 
which they stand on the Treasurer's books, was about five 
and one-quarter per cent. 

Charles C. Smith, 

Treasurer, 
Boston, March 31, 1905. 

Report of the Auditing Committee. 

The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the 
accounts of the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, as made up to March 31, 1905, have attended to that 



222 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

duty, and report that they find them correctly kept and prop- 
erly vouched ; that the securities held by the Treasurer for 
the several funds correspond with the statement in his Annual 
Report ; that the balance of cash on hand is satisfactorily 
accounted for ; and that the Trial Balance is accurately taken 
from the Ledger. 

Thomas Minns, 



Boston, April 7, 1905. 



C. H. Dalton, ' C ° mmittee - 



In connection with the presentation of these reports Mr. 
Minns said that the Auditing Committee in examining the 
securities had paid careful attention to the quality as well as 
the quantity, and reported the character of them as satisfac- 
tory. A careful estimate of the present market value of the 
securities had been made, and it amounts to 1457,859, or 
$50,684.88 more than the cost to the Society as shown in the 
Treasurer's report. 

The Report of the Librarian was read as follows : — 

Report of the Librarian. 

During the year there have been added to the Library: — 

Books 494 

Pamphlets 879 

Unbound volumes of newspapers 9 

Bound volumes of newspapers 86 

Broadsides 13 

Maps 3 

Manuscripts 399 

Bound volumes of manuscripts 10 

In all 1,893 

Of the volumes added 310 have been given, 175 bought, and 
105 formed by binding. Of the pamphlets added, 574 have 
been given, 301 bought, and 4 procured by exchange. 

From the income of the Savage Fund there have been 
bought 104 volumes, 260 pamphlets, 7 bound volumes of 
newspapers, 3 unbound volumes of newspapers, and 5 broad- 
sides ; and 6 volumes of newspapers have been bound. 

From the income of the William Winthrop Fund there have 



1905] REPORT OF THE CABINET-KEEPER. 223 

been bound 26 volumes, containing 139 pamphlets, and 73 vol- 
umes of newspapers ; and 8 volumes have been repaired. 

From the income of the E. B. Bigelow Fund there have 
been bought 58 volumes and 40 pamphlets ; from that of the 
John Langdon Sibley Fund, 5 volumes; and from that of the 
Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund, 1 volume, 1 pamphlet, 16 manu- 
scripts, 1 framed engraving, and 3 photographs. 

Of the books added to the Rebellion Department, 33 have 
been given, and 112 bought ; and of the pamphlets added, 121 
have been given, and 121 bought. There are now in the col- 
lection 3,009 volumes, 5,649 pamphlets, 833 broadsides, and 
110 maps. 

In the collection of manuscripts there are now 1,144 vol- 
umes, 192 unbound volumes, 97 pamphlets with manuscript 
notes, and 14,425 manuscripts. 

The Library contains at the present time about 48,392 vol- 
umes ; and this enumeration includes the files of bound news- 
papers, bound manuscripts, the Dowse Collection, and the 
Waterston Collection. The Waterston catalogue is now in 
type and will soon be issued. The Ellis books are still in 
process of cataloguing, and when the work is finished these 
will be added to the aggregate. 

The number of pamphlets now in the Library, including 
duplicates, is 107,106 ; and the number of broadsides, includ- 
ing duplicates, is 5,012. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Samuel A. Green, 

Librarian, 
April 13, 1905. 

The Cabinet-Keeper presented his Report : — 

Report of the Cabinet- Keeper, 

The following additions to the Cabinet have been made 
during the past year : — 

A water-color painting of the British fleet which brought over the 
" Sam Adams " regiments, as it appeared in Boston Harbor on 
October first, 1768, paiuted by Christian Remick and dedicated 
to Thomas Vernon. Given by Mrs. Ellen Hinckley Waittj of 
Yonkers, New York. 



224 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

A framed photograph of Charles Francis Adams, by Pach, Cambridge. 

Given by Mr. Adams. 
An engraving of the statue of William Francis Bartlett, by John A. 

Lowell & Co. Given by the Berkshire Life Insurance Company, 

of Pittsfield. 
A sword, pair of silver-mounted pistols and surgical instruments used 

by General John Thomas in the French and Indian, and Revolu- 
tionary Wars. Bequeathed by William A. Thomas, of Kingston. 
A half-tone view, Boston, 1902, of the south side of Franklin Street, 

as it appeared in 1855, showing the site of the Boston Library, 

and the early home of the Historical Society. 
A volume containing mottoes and devices taken from envelopes used in 

the Rebellion, in 1861. Compiled by Hon. Henry Sidney Everett. 

Given by Miss Sibyl Everett. 
A large framed photograph of George Frisbie Hoar. Given by Gren- 

ville H. Norcross. 
A large photogravure of Leslie Stephen. Given by Charles Francis 

Adams. 
A sword and sash worn by Colonel Joseph Dudley (1780-1827), of Rox- 

bury. Given by his granddaughter, Mrs. Lucy Dudley Rumrill. 
An oil painting of George Livermore by Carroll Beckwith, New York, 

December, 1904. From the income of the General Fund. 
An engraving of George Washington, by J. A. J. Wilcox, after a 

miniature, enamelled on copper by Henry Bone, which followed 

an original crayon sketch by William Birch in 1796. Given by 

Samuel A. Green. 
Two steel engravings of Rear- Admiral D. G. Farragut, one by O'Neill, 

New York, published by C. B. Richardson, and the other by 

George E. Perine, New York, after a photograph by Fredericks ; 

also a photo-electrotype engraving of Charles Devens. Given by 

the estate of Charles W. Folsom. 

The labels formerly in use in the cases have been replaced 
by new ones on the blank cards prepared by my predecessor, 
Mr. Jenks. Some progress has been made towards completing 
the collection of photographs of the members of the Society. 
The Cabinet has been open to visitors on Wednesday after- 
noons as usual, but the attendance has been small. 

Grenville H. Norcross, 

Cabinet- Keeper. 
Boston, April 13, 1905. 

The Report of the Committee to examine the Library and 
Cabinet was read by Mr. Bolton: — 



1905.] REPORT ON THE LIBRARY AND CABINET. 225 

Report of the Committee on the Library and Cabinet. 

Your Committee appointed to visit the Library and Cabinet 
of the Society have undertaken this pleasant duty. In 1899 
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences came from the 
Boston Athenceum to occupy the rooms on our third floor, 
facing Boylston Street. The Academy will vacate these 
rooms during- the present spring, affording increased space for 
books. We think well of the suggestion that a door be cut 
between the room above us, where very many of the Society's 
books are shelved, and the circular corner room which adjoins 
it. This was, we understand, part of the original plan. It will 
then be possible to devote these third-floor Fenway rooms 
more and more to American history ; and the convenience of 
a large stack room, opening into a circular study room, warm, 
sunny, and with an attractive view, should appeal to members. 

The Society's miscellaneous books and foreign newspapers 
might, in the judgment of Dr. Green and his assistants, be 
removed to the steel shelves in the stack above the Water- 
ston room. We notice with some apprehension that the 
wooden window casings of these eastern rooms are within 
three or four feet of the windows of the apartment house east 
of us. 

Accessions of books since the last report have been many 
and valuable. The Society's excellent selection of volumes 
relating to the neighboring Maritime Provinces will, we trust, 
continue to grow, since there must ever be a close connection 
between the Provinces and New England. 

Your Committee wish that members of the Society and their 

families would visit more frequently the room which contains 

the Cabinet, now so well administered by Mr. Norcross. It is 

open on Wednesday afternoons. Provision was originally 

made in the ceiling of this room for two additional lights ; the 

exhibition would at present be greatly benefited by adding 

these lights. In good time we hope to see two projects of 

long standing come to fulfilment, — more room for the Cabinet, 

and a wing devoted to a modern fireproof stack for books. 

Charles K. Bolton, 

Melville M. Bigeloyv, 

Archibald Cary Coolidge, 

Committee. 
April, 1905. 

29 



226 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Mr. William R. Thayer, from the Committee to nominate 
officers for the ensuing year, said that he had received a letter 
from Mr. Adams declining a renomination as President. In a 
matter of so great importance the Committee had not felt that 
they would be justified in taking any action without consult- 
ing the Society. They had accordingly had the ballots 
printed without the name of any candidate for the Presidency. 
Mr. Charles E. Norton paid a warm tribute to the services 
which Mr. Adams had rendered to the Society, and moved 
that his resignation should not be accepted, and that the Com- 
mittee be instructed to insert the name of Charles Francis 
Adams for President. The motion was adopted by a unan- 
imous vote ; and the following named persons were duly 
elected : — 

For President. 
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. 

For Vice-Presidents. 

SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN. 
JAMES EORD RHODES. 

For Recording Secretary. 
EDWARD JAMES YOUNG. 

For Corresponding Secretary. 
HENRY WILLIAMSON HAYNES. 

For Treasurer. 
CHARLES CARD SMITH. 

For Librarian. 
SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN. 

For Cabinet-Keeper. 
GRENVILLE HOWLAND NORCROSS. 

For Members at Large of the Council. 

JAMES FROTHINGHAM HUNNEWELL. 
JAMES DE NORMANDIE. 
THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON. 
ALBERT BUSHNELL HART. 
THOMAS LEONARD LIVERMORE. 



1905.] REMARKS BY MEMBERS. 227 

Dr. Green having been elected to fill two offices, Mr. 
Roger Bigelow Merriman was, on motion of Mr. Thayer in 
behalf of the Nominating Committee, elected an additional 
member of the Council, in order that that body should not be 
reduced below the number of thirteen persons. 

Remarks were made during the meeting by Messrs. James 
F. Rhodes, Charles E. Norton, Thomas Minns, Samuel 
A. Green, Charles C. Smith, Gamaliel Bradford, and 
Moorfield Storey. 

A new serial of the Proceedings, containing the record of 
the meetings of January, February, and March, was ready for 
distribution at this meeting. 

After the adjournment the members and a few invited guests 
were entertained at luncheon in the Ellis Hall by the junior 
Vice-President, Mr. James Ford Rhodes. 



228 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 



MEMOIR 

OF 

HENRY LEE. 

BY JOHN T. MORSE, JR. 



He to whom is allotted the task of writing a memoir of 
Henry Lee must be gravely discouraged at the thought of 
how immeasurably better that gentleman himself would have 
done it. He was often entreated to undertake it, and in his 
later years he made some trifling notes and dictated a few 
pages which he called " Random Reminiscences of an Octo- 
genarian " ; but these stopped short with the days of infancy 
and the first dawning of personal memories. Indeed, if they 
had been continued on the scale upon which they w T ere 
begun, they would have made the Encyclopaedia Britannica 
seem a small affair by comparison. It is necessary, therefore, 
that some one else should come halting along over the road 
which Mr. Lee would have travelled in much more lively 
fashion. 

It is a common delusion that every character can be, and 
ought to be, accounted for by reciting the names, dates, and 
occupations of a parcel of deceased ancestors, probably com- 
monplace persons not widely different from the average of 
their coevals, who also were being the ancestors of somebod}^. 
The genealogical paragraph in this memoir can be best given 
by adopting Mr. Lee's own memoranda. He numbers among 
his direct ancestors Governors Thomas Dudley and Simon 
Bradstreet, Major-General Daniel Goodwin, Major Thomas 
Savage, " whose wife was Faith Hutchinson, a daughter of 
the famous Anne Hutchinson ; . . . also the Reverends John 
Cotton, Francis Higginson, Flynt, and Symmes, besides Tyngs, 
Lakes, Quincys, Pickerings, Ameses, Tracys, Jacksons, and 
Cabots. . . . The family line includes no less than nine clergy- 
men prominent in Colonial times." It was a well-assorted lot 








A— -<_^c- 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 229 

of the local tj^pes. Mr. Lee was wont to say. that he was 
prouder of the blood of Anne Hutchinson than of that of the 
governors, and certainly the ingenious may find in him traits 
which will recall her, with amendments appropriate to changed 
surroundings. Mr. Lee says : " The Christian name of Mr. Lee's 
first ancestor in this country and the date of his arrival are in 
doubt. His wife's name was Martha Mellowes." But he adds : 
" He lies buried on Copp's Hill, and his obituary is worth quot- 
ing : 'July 21, 1766. — Yesterday morning died Mr. Thomas 
Lee, in the 94th year of his age, who in the early and active 
part of life carried on considerable Trade in this Town, though 
he deserves to be recorded rather for the unblemished Integrity 
of his Dealings, and the exact Punctuality of his Payments, 
than for the extent of his Trade, or the length of his life.' ' 

Thomas Lee, born December 17, 1702, was graduated at 
Harvard College in 1722 ; he was bred a merchant, lived in 
Salem, was for several years a Representative to the General 
Court, married, first, Elizabeth Charnock, and on December 29, 
1737, as his second wife, Lois Orne. His son Joseph, born in 
Salem, May 22, 1744, became a sea-captain ; he " had a great 
talent for mechanics, especially for ship-building ; and a nu- 
merous fleet, designed by him, was sent out as privateers during 
the war of the Revolution, and was afterwards engaged in trade 
with Europe and the East and West Indies. . . . He, with the 
Messrs. Cabot, whose only sister, Elizabeth, he married, removed 
to Beverly, and, after a term of sea service, carried on an exten- 
sive business for many years with his distinguished brother-in- 
law, the Honorable George Cabot, who, as junior, had served 
him through all the grades from cabin-boy to partner." 

Henry Lee, ninth child of Joseph Lee, was born in Beverly, 
February 4, 1782. He became u a prominent East Indian 
merchant," and was " in Calcutta during the War of 1812. 
... In the prime of life, Mr. Lee was well known as a writer 
on financial topics, . . . and was a valued correspondent of the 
Anti-Corn Law League. He was the unsuccessful rival of 
Honorable Nathan Appleton as candidate for Congress from 
Boston, in 1850, upon the tariff and free trade issues. He was a 
firm believer in free trade, and wrote the famous ' Boston Report' 
of 1827 against a further increase of tariff duties. It was his 
fortune in 1832 to receive the electoral vote of South Carolina 
for Vice-President of the United States, on a ticket with John 



230 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Floyd. 1 Mr. Lee married Mary Jackson, daughter of Honor- 
able Jonathan Jackson, June 16, 1809, by whom he had six 
children. He died February 8, 1867, having just completed 
his eighty-fifth year." 

Of this Henry Lee and Mary, his wife, the third child was 
Henry Lee, the subject of this memoir. He says that he was 
" born in a house on the southeast corner of Columbia St. 
fronting on Essex St., the second of September, 1817. . . . 
The tenant who had occupied this house, and from whom my 
father had it, had left it in a very dirty condition, and my 
mother, the most scrupulous of housekeepers, had to superin- 
tend its purification ; and she always insisted that the pre-natal 
influence of her devotion to the Augean task was unfavorable 
to my character, making me, as she expressed it, too much of 
a quiddle, more nice than wise ; and I have been handicapped 
all my life by this unfortunate pre-natal influence." 

In the sea-coast towns of Essex County, Cabots, Jacksons, 
Lees, and Higginsons long formed a group of families who, 
with a gratifying consciousness of being decidedly the " best 
people," held themselves somewhat aloof, and intermarried and 
associated together with a cheerful consciousness of entire 
safety. When some of the members of these families came to 
Boston, they retained these same habits. Thus Mr. Lee grew 
up as a member of a large and closely united circle of kindred. 
Evolved from such ancestors and bred amid such influences, 
one would expect to find him developing into a typical New 
Englander. In fact he did nothing of the kind, but owed his 
charm during his life, and his interest for us now that he is 
gone, to his fresh and racy individuality. 

Of his boyhood nothing noteworthy is to be said. In due 
course he entered Harvard College in the Class of 1836, and 
thereby became one of the actors in the great rebellion of 1834, 
which is recorded as the most remarkable outbreak that Har- 
vard has ever seen, " a matter of public notoriety and of general 
interest." Concerning this matter Mr. Lee remained to the 
end of his life utterly " unreconstructed," and more than once 
declared that he would rebel again under the same circum- 
stances. The opportunity to place on record a vindication of 
himself and his classmates occurred on one occasion, and to 
his great indignation was foolishly taken away by some over- 

1 This was by reason of his free-trade or low-tariff views. 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 231 

priggish person. " In the year 1875," he says, " at the solici- 
tation of the editors of the Harvard Book, I wrote an article 
on University Hall in which I gave an account of the rebellion 
of 1834. At the dictation of some unknown censor, this most 
important and interesting item in my sketch was stricken out, 
which so roused my indignation that I declined to have my 
garbled production published ; but the entreaties of the editors 
prevailed, and I reluctantly consented." The condemned pas- 
sage is found among his papers, and certainly the omission is 
to be deplored. Of course Mr. Lee shared the punishment 
which was inflicted upon all his classmates save three, and 
which amounted to a suspension of all relations during several 
months, — in other words, a long vacation. Later, in his senior 
year, Mr. Lee amused himself by screwing up the door of a 
tutor's room when that learned gentleman was inside. For 
this prank he was again " rusticated at Reverend Mr. Ripley's, 
Waltham, where Emerson, Dr. Convers Francis, and he [Mr. 
Ripley], then fresh from German Universities, were wont to 
hold high converse kindled by the enthusiasm and eloquence 
of their inspired hostess." Rustication into such surroundings 
was probably fully as beneficial as were prayers and recitations 
at Cambridge. 

Immediately after graduation, Mr. Lee entered his father's 
" counting-room," and in 1838 was taken into partnership. 
The business was foreign commerce, chiefly with the East 
Indies, in part also with Brazil, and soon after graduating Mr. 
Lee sailed as supercargo to Rio de Janeiro. Two years later 
he said to the senior partner that either he, the father, must 
retire, or he, the son, would do so. The elder acted upon the- 
suggestion, and two years later withdrew, leaving the business 
to be continued by Mr. Lee and Mr. W. S. Bullard. 

By 1852 it was becoming clear to shrewd New Englanders 
that they had better retire from foreign commerce, which was 
being slowly but surely eaten away by the protective tariff. 
Of those who were unable to change their ways, the greater 
part, clinging to a steadily declining business, lost in their 
later days most of what they had won in their prime. For- 
tunately, Mr. Lee was wise enough to save himself, not pre- 
cisely from the sinking ship, but from the rotting ships. But 
a transition from an occupation wherein the merchant had to 
keep constantly informed as to the products and industries, 



232 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

the laws and customs, the policies and the politics of nations 
all over the world, to the daily business of spinning each year 
the greatest possible number of yards of cotton cloth, did not 
commend itself to Mr. Lee. Loyal to the teaching of his 
father, and resenting the economic policy which was at once 
a cause and an effect of this transformation, he remained a 
stanch believer in free trade to the end of his days. With 
his usual warmth of feeling, he even obstinately eschewed 
investment in the factory stocks of New England. 

Thus debarred from commerce and manufactures, he turned 
to banking and brokerage, and became a member of the firm of 
Lee, Higginson & Co., a partnership already established by his 
relative, John C. Lee, of Salem, and his brother-in-law, George 
Higginson. Thereafter he was in State Street nearly every day, 
and as he accumulated a large property it is right to say that he 
was a successful business man. Yet he was never very fond of 
business, never became absorbed in it, and was very moderately 
ambitious of business distinction. He was very wise concern- 
ing real estate in Boston and vicinity, and a gentleman pre- 
eminently competent to pronounce an opinion says: " Colonel 
Lee had a remarkably sagacious judgment in real estate. He 
bought and sold a great deal of it. I have often run across 
the trail of his transactions, and can say that there was nearly 
always a profit, and often a very big one." Naturally his 
character and his achievements, in combination, won for him 
in the community a high reputation as a financial adviser ; he 
w T as much in demand for positions of trust, and the funds of 
which, first and last, he acted as treasurer were innumerable. 
Since he never desired to become a professional trustee, far 
the greater part of these charges involved care and responsi- 
bility without other compensation than such gratitude as 
beneficiaries chose to feel. The chief public office of this 
kind which he filled was that of President of the " Provident 
Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston" ; to this hon- 
orable position he was elected December 21, 1887, and he held 
it till his death. 

His great undertaking, which was entirely his own in con- 
ception and fulfilment, was the building of the " Safety 
Vaults " at No. 40 State Street. These were the first thing 
of the kind in Boston ; something of the sort had been 
constructed in Philadelphia and in New York, but in the em- 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 233 

bryonic stage, and "Lee's Vaults " were unique in the coun- 
try until they served as patterns for others. The novel labor 
of planning and constructing these vaults was conducted 
wholly by Mr. Lee himself, and fell in happily with his nat- 
ural tastes. When they were finished, the reception which 
they met with was a great tribute to him personally ; for 
during many years they were not incorporated, but were his 
private enterprise, of which the absolute and exclusive con- 
trol was in his hands, and all responsibility rested upon him 
alone. Very few men, coming with a new scheme of this kind 
and standing alone in handling it, would have been able to 
secure the fundamental condition for success in the confidence 
of the anxious and careful owners of bonds and stocks. The 
personal compliment to Mr. Lee was of the highest, and it 
was with just self-satisfaction that he declared this enterprise 
to be the " crowning effort " of his life and his " special 
pride." 

At the risk of raising havoc with the reverend traditions of 
this grave Society, there should be inserted here a few para- 
graphs on a subject of a nature lighter than is often known 
in our Proceedings. This concerns Mr. Lee's extreme passion 
for all matters dramatic and theatrical. In 1847 this took 
shape in the inauguration of a series of private theatrical 
entertainments, which were continued through so many years 
that they seemed almost to take the character of a permanent 
institution. It was not as a mere personal amusement that 
he took this up, but rather as a very serious intellectual diver- 
sion. He was a thorough student of dramatic literature, and 
knew his Shakespeare and his Sheridan and the other classics 
of the stage as a clergyman of the Episcopal Church knows his 
Prayer-book. If the social chances had cast him in such a posi- 
tion that he could have cultivated the Thespian art for a liveli- 
hood, it is not improbable that his natural proclivities would 
have led him to it and that he would have won distinction. 
Partly by coincidence, partly as the result of his own conta- 
gious ardor, Mr. Lee now found himself the chief and con- 
trolling spirit in a circle of friends inflamed with a zeal for 
dramatic work, — work, not play. His superiority was ad- 
mitted ; he was drill-master and critic, so exacting and so 
plain-spoken that sometimes there were mutterings of revolt, 
which, however, always subsided under the pressure of his 

30 



234 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

pre-eminent capacity. The plays were not of the burlesque 
order so dear to amateurs ; for example, " The Rivals " was 
a favorite, and for once the doctrine of the inferiority of 
the best amateurs in comparison with professionals was broken 
through ; Mr. Lee's Sir Anthony Absolute rests in the mem- 
ory of those who saw it as probably the best presentation of 
that character that has ever been seen upon the stage, at least 
in this country. Once Mrs. Fanny Kemble acted with him, 
taking the part of Mrs. Malaprop, and having such a stage 
fright that she forgot her lines. 

Lapse of time gradually broke up this dramatic group, and 
Mr. Lee ceased to appear upon the stage, but he was often 
invited to give quasi-public readings for various worthy objects, 
and he did so with great success. A natural result of his 
dramatic tastes was that he established friendships, more or 
less intimate, with many of the more distinguished actors and 
actresses. Mrs. Kemble was his lifelong and valued friend ; 
he was also a friend of William Warren, most delightful of 
companions, and of fine old John Gilbert, and many more. 

To the actors of more recent years he was less well-inclined, 
and was long in learning to like Sir Henry Irving and Miss 
Terry. When Joseph Jefferson presented his ill-judged trav- 
esty of the part of Bob Acres, that misrepresentation seemed 
to Mr. Lee a blasphemy and unpardonable sin. He protested 
against it in a critique which is well worth reproducing as a 
specimen of his trenchant style : — 

" The papers announce that Jefferson is to appear as Bob Acres. I 
look forward with impatience, for I dote on The Rivals. Contrary to 
the critics, I prefer it to the School for Scandal, which always leaves a 
bad taste in my mouth. At last the hour arrives, I make my way to 
the theatre, breathless and fluttered, awaiting the test. Two hours 
later I slink out of the building, stunned and compromised. I have 
assisted at a vulgar outrage, a wanton insult, a nauseous incongruity. 
Is this the classic composed by Sheridan, every line full of meaning, 
every sentence rounded, which the best comedians had illustrated ever 
since the Battle of Bunker Hill, which I have seen countless times in 
Boston and New York, as well as in New Orleans, London and else- 
where, every word of which I know by heart? What is this hodge- 
podge they are talking? Why does Sir Lucius, a high-spirited Irish 
gentleman, exchange vulgar familiarities with Fag, and why is he so 
elephantine? Sheridan gives us to understand that Bob Acres is a 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENIIY LEE. 235 

jolly, obtuse, raw, country squire, apple-faced, goggle-eyed, pudding- 
voiced ; but here we have a lanthoru-jawed, nasal-twanged, shrewd- 
eyed, speculative Yankee. As for the dialogue, instead of Sheridan's 
finished, perfect, impressive sentences, sparkling with wit and humour, 
neither too long nor too short, we have a hodge-podge composed by the 
dramatis personam as they go along, wretched verbiage." 

It was natural that such tastes should lead him to become a 
member of the Tavern Club, and natural also that his fellow- 
members of the Club should make much use of such good 
material. They made him their president, and they called 
upon him to preside at dinners and to deliver speeches of 
welcome to the many famous actors and musicians whom they 
entertained. Many persons will long remember with pleasure 
his admirable fulfilment of these functions. His fine personal 
appearance and distinguished bearing, his genial expression, 
his wit abundantly flavored with literary and classical allusions, 
combined to create a rare fitness for such festivities. 

When the Boston Theatre was built, it was a matter of 
course that Mr. Lee should be interested in the enterprise. 
His brother-in-law was the architect, and he himself was one 
of the original proprietors, and for about eight years he was 
treasurer. When the ownership changed and a new prin- 
ciple of management was adopted, he severed his connection 
with it. 

Amid these cares of business and pursuits theatrical, on 
October 20, 1845, Mr. Lee was married to Elizabeth Perkins 
Cabot, a daughter of Samuel Cabot, and, through her mother, 
a grand-daughter of that Colonel Thomas Handasyd Perkins 
who in his day was probably the most prominent citizen of 
Boston. When the news of his engagement was told by his 
mother to Mrs. Eliza Buckminster Lee, that " eccentric lady " 
expressed her regret, because " the Lees were too rough to be 
husbands." Perhaps the good lady knew whereof she spoke, 
and with her remark as a generalization we will not take issue ; 
but certain it is that Colonel Lee was never rough with any 
lady in any relation of life. On the contrary, his fine courtesy, 
of the kind called "old school," was not superficial breeding 
only, but was the natural expression of a genuine chivalry 
of feeling. It may be said that the ladies of his acquaintance, 
appreciating the quality of his admiration, returned it by a very 
loyal regard for him. 



236 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Mr. Lee's kindred had never been especially noted for 
activity in public affairs; they had been persons of liberal and 
even advanced ideas, but had the conservatism of members of 
a well-to-do upper class. It was therefore a new departure 
that Mr. Lee made in becoming actively interested in politics 
and upon the Radical side. During four years before the 
actual formation of the Free Soil party he had been promoting 
it; and he was one of the vice-presidents at the first meeting 
of the party, in 1848, at which Governor Andrew was presi- 
dent. With this political group he stayed until its absorption 
into the new organization of the Republican party. It was a 
decision and an action to which he frequently referred after- 
ward with great satisfaction. Thus, in a speech before the 
Civil Service Reform Association, he said : — 

" You, who have known the Republican party of the last twenty 
years, can hardly be made to know, much less to feel, how insignificant in 
numbers and standing seemed the Free Soilers when they seceded from 
the great Whig party, then panoplied with the respectability, the wealth 
and talent of New England. . . . Words fail to express, looks or acts 
to convey, their [the Whigs'] contempt, and the Democrats' hatred, 
of these few, young, obscure appealers to a higher law. It was a long 
contest, beginning openly in 1848 and ended only by the breaking out 
of the Civil War. . . . The triumph of the Free Soilers, or Republi- 
cans, as they were subsequently called, was the slow triumph of pro- 
gression over retrogression, of resolution over irresolution, of principle 
over policy, of a higher law over a lower law." 

Many a time, in like vein, he took justly merited credit to 
himself in this respect. 

When John A. Andrew entered upon the governorship of 
Massachusetts, he nominated Henry Lee as one of his staff. The 
commission bears date January 15, 1861. Hence came the 
title of Colonel, which seemed so appropriate that it ever after 
remained a prefix to his name. These aides, usually civilians 
suddenly made military men by the magic of nomenclature, 
are always, of course, tall handsome gentlemen, well set up for 
wearing the ornate panoply of war with good effect, and for 
looking just like the colonels of the story books. But Gov- 
ernor Andrew foresaw for his aides more serious work than 
attending dedications and sundry sorts of openings, and dancing 
at charity or other reputable balls. Also, besides physique 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 237 

and efficiency, he desired a connection with that upper stratum 
of society which for the time being mistrusted him for an 
enthusiast, a sentimentalist, and a dreamer ; which doubted 
his practical good sense, and deemed his election dangerous 
for the Commonwealth. Whatever the governor, upon his 
part, may have thought of these high-placed persons, he was 
at least obliged to recognize that, by their education and 
wealth, by their solidarity and their ability, they were power- 
ful, and that, in case of trouble, friendly relations with them 
would be most desirable. 

When Mr. Lee received the invitation, he hesitated ; for 
however widely he differed from most of his friends in politi- 
cal convictions, he was not free from their prejudices against 
the new governor. Later he wrote some reminiscences of the 
governor, rambling, anecdotical, and entertaining. In these 
he said : — 

" Meeting the governor just after election at a political levee, I 
refrained from joining in the congratulations generally expressed, be- 
cause I distrusted his fitness for the office at such a critical period. . . . 
I was afraid he might be one-sided and indiscreet, deficient in common 
sense and practical ability. So when, in the first days of January, 1861, 
I unexpectedly received a summons to a position upon his staff, I was 
agitated by my desire to perform some little service for my country in 
the approaching crisis, and by my reluctance to attach myself to a 
leader whose judgment I distrusted. After a frank explanation of my 
embarrassment, finding that the governor still desired my aid, I reluc- 
tantly accepted the appointment." 

His decision met little approval in his own circle, and during 
the rest of his life he never forgot " the personal expression of 
surprise and regret from friends and acquaintances at his con- 
nection with this supposed foolish fanatic." 

Immediately came the contracts put out by Governor An- 
drew for military overcoats, and the famous scene when he 
kissed the Revolutionary musket in the hall of the House of 
Representatives. " For the moment," said Colonel Lee, " you 
had only to mention the word overcoat or speak of kissing the 
musket to excite the risibles or call down the objurgations of 
the scoffers, to whom these untimely acts seemed the height of 
folly and wickedness." " The scoffers," be it noted, were 
Colonel Lee's relatives, friends, and social acquaintances. Yet 



238 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

when it turned out that the overcoats were scarcely finished 
in time to appear on the backs of soldiers bound for the de- 
fence of the national capital, opinions of intelligent men be- 
gan to veer about. Forthwith ensued the severe labors of the 
governor and his aides in the untried departments of muster- 
ing, equipping, organizing, and despatching thousands of troops 
for active warfare. Early and late and earnestly Colonel Lee 
bore his share. When the first regiments reported, marching 
through sleet and rain to the State House, he assisted the 
governor to receive them, attended to the distribution of their 
equipments, and, with the aid of Mr. John M. Forbes, arranged 
for their transportation. 

In the distribution of duties which soon took place, the 
matter of the selection of officers fell more especially to the 
charge of Colonel Lee. Applications for commissions poured 
in ; especially was there a rush by the young men of the old 
Boston families, b}^ recent Harvard graduates, and by several 
undergraduates. The governor knew very few of these ; but 
Colonel Lee knew many of them personally, had means of 
information as to others, and could always venture a guess on 
the ground of heredity, for if he did not know the individual, 
he was quite sure to know what ought to be expected from 
the offspring of that individual's ancestors. It was an uncer- 
tain test, but better than none. Throughout the war, and in 
fact long afterward, Colonel Lee took the warmest interest 
in these young men whom he thus studied, valued, and intro- 
duced to their military career. The officers of the Twentieth 
Regiment, which was in the initial engagement of Ball's Bluff, 
he always called u his boys " with especial affection. 

What Colonel Lee knew or believed, he invariably spoke 
out with his habitual blunt directness. One day the governor 
said to him : " What do you say to making Quarter- 
master in the th regiment ? " "I &Q,y you sha'n't do it, 

Governor." " Why not ? " " You know as well as I." " No 
one of us is perfect." " No, but some are nearer to it than 
others. That man is a damned thief, and you have no business 
to put him in charge of Uncle Sam's property." On another 
occasion, irritated by the governor's too soft-hearted propensity 
to give bad men a chance, which they rarely took, to become 
better, Colonel Lee said to him : " Governor, my time is yours, 
my character is my own, and unless you drive off some of 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE, 239 

these scallawags, I shall leave you. . . . You are so concerned 
about the wicked that you have no heart for an honest 
man." 

In labor of another kind, Colonel Lee was less successful in 
assisting the governor. His pen knew no more restriction 
than his tongue, and when he was requested to attend to the 
correspondence, the results were so spirited that the governor 
dubbed him " the unfortunate letter-writer," and turned this 
labor over to others. 

A sense of personal loyalty was not long in developing on 
the part of Colonel Lee towards the governor. In 1861 there 
occurred the famous clash between the governor and General 
Butler, in which the latter undertook to override the governor 
in the matter of enlisting regiments and commissioning offi- 
cers in Massachusetts. The War Department at Washington 
fell a victim — a rather stupid victim, it must be confessed — 
to the adroitness of Butler, and gave him an authority en- 
tirely illegal. Colonel Lee, in Washington, had an interview 
with the President which must have been somewhat unusual 
in its character. Mr. Lincoln, loyal as ever to his subordi- 
nates, was anxious to help the War Department out of its 
scrape, and in the course of a conversation tried to turn the 
matter off with a joke. " General Butler," he said, "was 
cross-eyed, and therefore probably could not see things as 
other people did." ' But Colonel Lee, meaning business, was 
not so easily diverted, and made remarks so plain that finally 
the President said : " Then, Colonel Lee, you mean to say 
that I lie ? " " No, indeed, sir, I mean no such thing." " Then 
you mean that General Butler lies ? " " Oh, yes, I say that ! " 
It is not surprising to hear that the colonel soon concluded 
that he might have transcended prudence, and that it was 
better that the governor's case should be presented to the 
President by Attorney-General Foster " in a more quiet and 
convincing manner than I am capable of." 

Colonel Lee's services as aide exacted long labor on his part, 
and the sacrifice of his time greatly to the detriment of many 
private interests entrusted to him. Accordingly, after three 
and a half years, when matters were in such train that he 
felt free to leave, he offered his resignation. He concluded 
his letter to the governor with this honest expression of an 
opinion which had changed much since the time when he had 



240 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

hesitated to accept the office: "I feel a very sincere attach- 
ment to you. I appreciate very highly the zeal and great 
ability you have developed in carrying — lugging along — the 
State through this great crisis. I admire still more } 7 our en- 
tire disinterestedness, and I shall always be as now, Your 
devoted friend, H. Lee Jr." The governor accepted the res- 
ignation on the following day, January 9, 1864, with many 
friendly words. 

Colonel Lee's untiring services to the Volunteers were 
handsomely recognized by them later, when they placed him 
in the small and carefully selected list of Civilian Members of 
the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States in 
the Commandery of the State of Massachusetts. Yet no one 
condemned more bitterly than he those "heaven-born" gen- 
erals who came out from civil life to demand and accept high 
military rank and responsibilities, for which their experience 
did not fit them. Of the " incompetent generals " he marked 
u Banks and Butler as flagrant instances." Of Banks he said : 
n I agree with Thaddeus Stevens, who said that there was 
nothing remarkable about him except the wabble in his voice." 
And he spoke of a friend " whose only son was murdered by 
General Banks at Cedar Mountain, with five other braves." 

Colonel Lee's love of things military began in childhood, 
but did not pass with that peried. In college he had taken 
the liveliest interest in the Harvard Washington Corps. As 
a young man he was a member and an officer of the Inde- 
pendent Corps of Cadets. Later, the Veteran Association of 
that corps voted a tender of their thanks to him " for his 
valuable and efficient services while in the Legislature in pro- 
curing for the Association an Act of Incorporation." On 
January 29, 1841, Governor John Davis issued to him a com- 
mission as Second Lieutenant in the First Brigade of the First 
Division of the Militia of the Commonwealth ; and on De- 
cember 28th of the same year he was promoted to a First 
Lieutenancy. George Tyler Bigelow, afterward Chief Justice 
of Massachusetts, was the colonel. His labors as aide-de- 
camp in time of war naturally stimulated his interest and 
greatly increased his knowledge in matters military. Accord- 
ingly he was ordered by Governor Andrew to " write a his- 
tory of the Militia with a scheme for its improvement." This 
led to the publication, in 1864, of a monograph of 130 octavo 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 241 

pages entitled " The Militia of the United States : What it 
has been, what it should be." It was the result of great labor, 
and was freely used by the commission which framed later 
the existing Militia Law of Massachusetts. Further, for 
many years thereafter, Colonel Lee poured into our receptive 
newspapers liberal contributions on military matters. One of 
his letters to Governor Andrew on militia matters is delight- 
fully characteristic : — 

Mr dear Governor, — As you take a paternal interest in my 
efforts in behalf of the Militia, I enclose a piece which may have es- 
caped your notice, in which I attempt to express my deep dismay at 
the negligence or pusillanimity of the Legislature in abandoning the 
system of compulsory service, and also at the falling to pieces of the 
Second Regiment owing to this sneaking legislation, and also to 
the delay of the State to uniform them. 

We have never raised, and shall never in our lifetime raise, a regi- 
ment so well composed and officered, consequently so well disciplined. 
The principal officers, many of the lesser officers, are men just from 
actual service. 

I attribute this suicidal policy to the Banksy, tricky, shilly-shally 
character of our lawmakers ; and the delay as to uniforms to the 
equally low and tricky Quartermaster General of this State. 

My dear Governor, if the Lord forgives knaves, he is equally forgiv- 
ing to honest men : why will you therefore surround yourself with 
Pierces and Spears and Wheelwrights and a host of others, to your 
great moral and mental woolgathering, and to the disgust of your 
friends who are at least indifferent honest? I fear this bad appoint- 
ment, when you had a state full of honorable disabled officers to select 
an Inspector General from, has cost us our Militia and you a benefac- 
tion you might have left on going out of an office you have filled so 
gloriously in spite of your crazy optimism. 

Your old blackguard, H. L., Jr. 

After retiring from Governor Andrew's staff Colonel Lee 
held public office only twice, namely, in 1876, when he was 
elected a member of the State Legislature from Boston for the 
Ninth District of the County of Suffolk, to which position he 
was re-elected in 1877 ; and afterward when he was placed upon 
the Park Commission. For this latter place he was admirably 
fitted, both by knowledge and by taste ; but after a short 
time Mayor O'Brien, "fulfilling the purpose for which the 
ring nominated and elected him," put into the places of Colonel 

31 



242 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Lee and Mr. Gray "two Democratic politicians." In later 
years, mentioning these two legislative terms, Colonel Lee 
added that, " having like his ancestors little taste for public 
life, he had since declined various official positions of a public 
nature." What these positions were one would like to know. 
They could hardly have been any which the manipulating 
politicians of either party could have blockaded against him, 
for he was precisely the kind of man whom politicians de- 
test — upright, independent, and outspoken. Fortunately, by 
holding aloof from competition for office, he at least avoided 
the uselessness attendant upon the reputation of being a dis- 
appointed seeker or a wrong-headed " kicker." None the less 
his interest in public affairs survived without diminution to 
the end of his life. With a very fervid temperament, and 
strong, clear convictions about affairs and men, he always 
made his opinions public, and exercised a varying, but gener- 
ally considerable, influence in eastern Massachusetts. Meet- 
ing daily, in the way of talk, an unusually large number of 
persons, he had opportunities of spreading abroad his views, 
of which he availed himself with much eloquence and per- 
sistence. Also as a frequent writer for the newspapers he 
reached a wider audience, and few intelligent Bostonians 
passed by a letter or paragraph signed " H. L." or " An Old 
Free Soiler," or " Senex," — favorite signatures which, like 
red flags, indicated something to be looked out for, something 
probably explosive in the immediate neighborhood. For, as 
the foe of all that was dishonest, mean, crooked, or incompe- 
tent in public life, Colonel Lee found occasion for the frequent 
use of his fine gift of trenchant composition. Moreover, in a 
literary way, his work had much fascination alike from his 
original way of putting things, his spirited style, and his sin- 
gularly happy use of quotations and allusions. Of these he 
had a vast store, drawn chiefly from the Bible, Shakespeare, 
Sheridan, and Emerson, but by no means limited to these 
writers, for every picturesque phrase seemed at the tip of his 
pen. He was apt to open his paper with some quotation 
which struck the key-note and set the reader at once in an 
appreciative attitude, — as when, attacking McClellan for 
accepting the Democratic nomination for the Presidency while 
the war was still waging, he headed his paragraph : " Died 
Abner as the fool dieth." 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 243 

If the Civil War, like all wars, stimulated corruption in 
excess, it also, by its unusual infusion of moral elements, en- 
couraged the growth of a small but earnest set of idealists in 
public affairs. These men cherished for the Republican party 
no ordinary party fealty, for they respected it and really be- 
lieved that it was going to introduce permanently a decent, 
even a high, standard of morality in public affairs. Promi- 
nent among these men was Colonel Lee ; but for him and his 
comrades the two administrations of General Grant were dis- 
illusioning. Especially was he pained to admit that nowhere 
else did conditions seem worse than in Massachusetts, where 
the party either could not or would not eject General Butler. 
For many years the respectable citizens of Massachusetts 
gathered to the hunting of Butler as their ancestors in old 
England had gathered to the hunting of the fox, and no man 
was more sure to be present at these meets than was Colonel 
Lee. Time and again his assaults were printed in Boston 
newspapers, and that they actually made the thick-skinned 
victim wince was proved ; for in the year of Butler's gov- 
ernorship a bill for the incorporation of Mr. Lee's Safety 
Vaults was passed by the Legislature, and came before the 
governor for signature ; he vetoed it, and when asked why, he 
replied simply, " I am human." Doubtless Mr. Lee was easily 
reconciled to postponement of the incorporation by the pleas- 
ure of knowing that his thrusts had gone home. 

The position into which Colonel Lee was being squeezed by 
the pressure of political conditions was soon obvious enough. 
Either the Republican party must purge and live cleanly or it 
must do without the support of the idealists. It chose the 
latter course, and with correct political judgment, for since 
1856 its leaders have gathered a vast harvest of plums and 
have lost only three elections, and one of these three they 
managed to filch and appropriate. Yet Mr. Lee, malcontent 
though he was, stayed with the old party longer than did 
some others, and voted for Hayes rather than for Tilden. He, 
however, at the time closed a letter to the " Advertiser " with 
this paragraph : " While I abhor the very name of Democrat, 
associated with all its dirty history from Jefferson down, I 
hold slack allegiance to a party which offers as candidates, and 
produces as its great men, political bummers like the men 
enumerated above, men who merit not only political but per- 



214 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

sonal contempt. A Free Soiler of 1848." The nomination 
of Blaine finally severed this " slack allegiance " of Colonel 
Lee to the Republican party. He became a Mugwump, — a 
Mugwump being a Republican temporarily malcontent; and 
the temporary conditions soon taking on an aspect of perma- 
nence, he passed into the position of an Independent. Yet 
neither position was long tenable for a man of his tempera- 
ment ; for their quondam Republican associates would not let 
go the useful and mal-sounding nickname of the Mugwumps, 
which, with shrewd obstinacy, they persisted in regarding as 
a synonym for apostate, and thus held their former comrades 
upon the defensive, so that even the brilliant aggression of 
Colonel Lee seemed to move from a defensive basis. This 
was intolerable, and erelong most of the band ceased to be 
mere allies of the Democracy and became merged in that 
powerful organization. In 1890 Colonel Lee forgot his " ab- 
horrence of the very name of Democrat," condoned the " dirty 
history " of the party, and enrolled himself as a member. 
In that year in Massachusetts there was one of those sharp 
reactionary episodes which at intervals briefly interrupt the 
supremacy of the party which is really established in power. 
John F. Andrew, the War Governor's son (who was up for re- 
election) ; Charles R. Codman, an ex-Republican like Colonel 
Lee and who had commanded a regiment in the war; Sherman 
Hoar, nephew of the stanch Republican partisan Senator 
George F. Hoar, and Professor William Everett offered them- 
selves as Democratic candidates for the national House of 
Representatives. Colonel Lee espoused their cause with great 
ardor and rejoiced exceedingly in their triumph. But two 
years later a reverse came. In the Presidential election Mr. 
Cleveland was defeated by Mr. Harrison. Mr. Lee, however, 
took it in good part, and drew the moral against his own 
political associates without flinching. He said : — 

" I think the best policy for the Democratic party, in order to re- 
trieve the disaster of yesterday, would be to keep their promises. The 
Democratic party is pretty well smashed. If its members had all fol- 
lowed the lead of Mr. Cleveland, not alone in regard to tariff but all 
other measures as well, it would have been well for them. Mr. Gor- 
man and other wicked leaders undertook to frustrate his plans, and the 
result is to be seen now. No one-horse shay can go in two directions 
at the same time. . . . 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 245 

"The Democrats had a good leader in Mr. Cleveland, an upright, 
courageous leader, and they had a truthful, considerate man at the head 
of the Ways and Means Committee, in Mr. Wilson ; but some Demo- 
cratic Senators tried their best to harass the leaders and not follow Mr. 
Cleveland, and to upset all Mr. Wilson's well-laid plans. Now it can 
be seen that they have made a mess of it." 

Colonel Lee's collisions as an undergraduate with the Har- 
vard Faculty left no enduring malice in his heart. On the 
contrary, apart from persons officially connected with the Uni- 
versity, probably no one ever rendered more willing, more 
continuous, and more various service than he did. Natural 
aptitude led him constantly into the position of Chief Marshal, 
not alone on Commencement Days, but upon the two or three 
grand celebrations which occurred during his years of activity. 
Professor Bowen said of him : " Lee is a good marshal ; he is 
our best marshal ; and the cause is largely his supreme im- 
pudence." (It is said that Professor Bowen was the vic- 
tim whom Mr. Lee had imprisoned in his room in bygone 
days.) But President Cleveland gave corroborating evidence. 
Colonel Lee was marshal when the President visited the Uni- 
versity, and some time afterward the President said to him : 
" Oh, yes ! you were the fellow who bossed me around so at 
Cambridge." The fact was that Colonel Lee meant that any 
procession under his command should come up to a high stand- 
ard of excellence, whereas the graduate rank and file, lacking 
his military instincts, rambled or shambled along the paths of 
the yard in a manner which led him to complain with vexation 
of the " bovine movements of the Alumni." He was Chief 
Marshal on July 21, 1865, at the Commemoration Celebration 
in honor of graduates and undergraduates who had died in 
the Civil War. Several years later, in November, 1886, at 
the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary, he was again Chief 
Marshal. 

In other less conspicuous ways he played his part as a lib- 
eral son of his Alma Mater. Harvard College has lain \n the 
midst of the community like a sponge upon moist ground, 
always thirsty and soaking up all the nourishment within 
reach. From Colonel Lee it drew much at many times. He 
had a very deep affection for the College, watched every new 
movement, and had clear opinions as to present needs. The 
policy of numerical expansion did not find much favor with 



246 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

him. He would have preferred to intensify what did exist 
rather than to move the boundaries farther out. Thus a 
scheme near to his heart was the raising of a fund for increas- 
ing the salaries of professors and tutors, and in advocating 
this he often gave such a humorous sketch of the lives of the 
underpaid Harvard instructors as recalled the tales of labor 
leaders as to the condition of factory hands during a strike. 
It made little difference, however, what Henry Lee thought as 
to policies so long as Charles Eliot was president. Very 
clearly it was the Colonel's duty to contribute, not to direct. 
He appreciated the situation, and one day, at a rneeting of the 
Board of Overseers, he said, with the familiar shrewd and 
pleasant smile : " I offer to the president my purse and my 
advice, and I am reminded of the two women who were grind- 
ing at the mill — one is taken and the other is left." 

His part in the building of Memorial Hall was prominent 
and important. He acted as treasurer, and there are two anec- 
dotes of exceptional charges in connection with the fund which 
were assumed by him greatly to the advantage of the College. 
Professor Charles Eliot Norton in Sanders Theatre said that to 
Colonel Lee, " more than to any other one graduate of Harvard, 
we owe this Hall," and Professor Norton knew the facts. 
Again, in the movement for presenting the bust of General 
W. F. Bartlett to be placed in Memorial Hall, Colonel Lee 
took an active part upon the committee and made the speech 
of presentation. 

Harvard graduates did what they could in recognition of 
Colonel Lee's abundant services. He was elected an honorary 
member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. In 1867 he was 
chosen upon the Board of Overseers and was re-elected at the 
close of his first six years. Then, under the statute, he passed 
a year out of office, and was thereafter immediately re-elected 
in 1880, and again re-elected at the close of that term ; so that 
his services extended from 1867 to 1892, inclusive, with the 
break only of the statutory year of recess. It is unfortunate 
that no record remains of the speeches made by him during his 
prolonged term of office. He was a regular attendant at meet- 
ings, interested in every matter, and, as is the custom in that 
body, he frequently interjected sagacious and humorous con- 
tributions into the debates. Thus, when compulsory morning 
prayers were under discussion, he rose for an -instant to say: 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 247 

"I am very pleased to hear that this duty is disagreeable to 
the students. This present fashion of making everything per- 
fectly easy for them and letting them do, or not do, just as they 
choose, has been carried too far. I am very glad indeed to 
find some act which is distasteful to them, and I should like to 
compel every one of them to perform it once every day." But 
the memory of such remarks is fleeting, and those who recall 
them in a general way cannot recall them in particular. 

In 1892, when the " Harvard Graduates' Magazine " was 
founded, Colonel Lee accepted the position of president. 
What cost him more labor, however, was his contribution in 
1875 to that vast and pretentious publication " The Harvard 
Book." In this pompous mausoleum he buried a really admir- 
able paper upon University Hall, one of the very few readable 
articles thus unfortunately entombed. 

In time, Colonel Lee's numerous and useful services to the 
University received a well-deserved recognition from the Cor- 
poration, when that body proposed to confer upon him the 
degree of Doctor of Laws. Never was an offer of this distinc- 
tion more entirely to the satisfaction of the graduate body. 
But Colonel Lee himself, after much consideration, decided 
not to accept it. He said that the degree should not be made 
common by being conferred upon any persons save those noted 
for high scholarship or who had gained some marked distinc- 
tion in other walks of life ; he said that he was enrolled in 
neither list. How great was the temptation which thus, as a 
matter of principle, he resisted, is made apparent by the fact 
that before his final determination he had prepared a speech 
for the occasion. He put Csesar on the Lupercal quite into 
the background. 

Any truthful picture of Colonel Lee must show him standing 
out against the background of Boston. Colonel T. Wentworth 
Higginson says that " he was as typical a Bostonian as could 
be found since the death of Colonel Perkins." He could have 
been at home amid no other surroundings nor in any other 
society. Sir Walter Scott said that if in any year he could 
not set his foot upon the heather, he should die. Mr. Lee 
might not have been quite willing to admit that if he could not 
very regularly see the dome of the State House he should die, 
but those who knew him would have said it for him. He was 
saturated with the spirit and the knowledge of New England. 



248 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

He knew with much accuracy the annals of colonial days and 
the old family histories, not dr}dy like a mere genealogist, but 
with vivid and picturesque appreciation. He could tell where 
still ran the streams of the good blood of the old-time worthies 
as a sportsman knows the trout streams of the country. He 
could point out among his fellow citizens the descendants of 
the governors, the divines and merchants of colonial and Revo- 
lutionary days ; the honors, the alliances, the scandals, the 
skeletons of all the old families, he could bring forth from the 
storehouse of his rare knowledge. All the ancient houses and 
streets, lanes and by-ways, were no less real for him than were 
those which actually surrounded him, vexing him by their 
newness. He had not probably that broad humanity which 
makes its owner kindred with all mankind, but he was in close 
spiritual kinship with all the men who had inhabited New 
England soil since the days of the Pilgrims. Therefore it was 
natural that he disliked the infusion of strange bloods into the 
pure old stock. "I feel more sensitive on this point," he said, 
" inasmuch as the prevalence of my name among the Mongo- 
lian immigrants will probably lead to confusion between my 
descendants and those of Yung and Ching Lee." 

During the third quarter of Colonel Lee's life Boston was 
still of such size and such social homogeneity that it was quite 
possible for one of her people to fill the peculiar role of lead- 
ing citizen. To this distinction Colonel Lee could for many 
years have laid a just if not an altogether undisputed claim. 
A gentleman as intimate with him as any one now living, be- 
ing asked what was his distinctive trait, which had gained for 
him the high place which he certainly held in the community, 
replied : " His integrity, his extraordinary integrity." This, 
of course, did not indicate the ordinary merchantable honesty 
of State Street, but something greatly higher, not easily to be 
described in words, but which every one must understand and 
appreciate. It was a part of his nature, not the outcome of 
his intelligence and good sense, or even of his respect for the 
ordinary rules of morality. In fact, Colonel Lee was born 
with a terrible propensity for truth, — a propensity to which he 
yielded until it became a passion that completely mastered 
him. It was so natural to him that perhaps he really deserved 
no credit for it. It got him into trouble, but that is unavoid- 
able ; for, after all, it is our virtues which we have most reason 






1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 249 

to fear. Our evil tendencies we know, and we may, if we 
choose, combat and control them ; but our virtues, unsuspected 
of mischievous intent, steal upon us unawares, and treacher- 
ously entice us into snares and difficulties. Colonel Lee was 
never upon his guard against his good qualities. Respecting 
the truth and speaking it always, in season and out of season, 
he gave offence and made enemies as, in fact, he ought to have 
done ; for a man who is really good for anything, and who is 
active in public affairs and in business, constantly touching 
the community at many points, ought to stir resentment oc- 
casionally. What is really astonishing is that one so uncom- 
promising should have brought upon himself so little ill-will. 
But he seemed to lay claim to, and to be accorded, the privi- 
lege of free speech, as a sort of prerogative ; he was forgiven 
until seventy times seven, and indeed very much oftener, 
and enjoyed general popularity and the warm affection of a 
much larger circle of friends than most persons acquire in 
the difficult passage through a not always amiable world. In 
some measure this was because he never spoke in malice, or 
from any unworthy motive, or with any secret or selfish pur- 
pose, or with the design of exalting himself by depressing 
another. His honest assault undoubtedly often wounded 
deeply, yet it did not excite a vindictive resentment ; and the 
way in which his attacks were taken was to some extent a 
measure of the magnanimity of the man who was defendant. 
Moreover, every one felt the broad and genial kindliness of 
his nature. His letters could not be illumined by his coun- 
tenance, but in his spoken words any sting was almost always 
alleviated by an expression of amiability, such that often the 
person who winced under his satire would feel sure of receiv- 
ing an act of personal friendship from him if need should be. 
Moreover, he was well known to have somewhat the April 
day temperament. Shadows drove across the scene occasion- 
ally. There were days when he was irritable and might quite 
as well have stayed on his grounds in Brookline as have come 
down-town in Boston. Withal, he was impulsive, and did 
not mitigate the expression of his feelings. On the contrary, 
by his facility in picturesque speech, he was sometimes led to 
over-express his opinion. Altogether, however, the world was 
very fond of Colonel Lee and gave him freedom to sa}^ what 
he thought, — which it does to very few of us. Colonel T. W. 

32 






250 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Higginson says : " He had his own way many years ; he was 
an unique personage in Boston ; everybody liked him and 
would stand more impudence from him than from any one else.'' 

With his money he was liberal, but not at all in a conspic- 
uous way. His giving was constant, but it was very often to 
individuals and not usually in such large single sums as to 
attract general attention. It was the result of personal in- 
terest and thoughtfulness rather than that mere payment of 
tribute which rich men feel it their duty to make. 

In conversation Colonel Lee was charming ; but, of course, 
the charm can be brought back only as a delightful memory 
by those who used to hear him ; to-day, in fact, there are 
hardly half a dozen survivors who can recall his talk in its 
best estate. His chats every Sunday forenoon during the 
summers at Beverly Farms with Dr. Holmes and his wife, 
with Mrs. Parkman, with Mrs. Bell, and with Mrs. Whitman, 
deserved as well to be preserved as much of the famous talk 
which has been kept fresh in print ; but it has all gone irre- 
coverably. These brilliant people put him at his best ; but he 
liked to talk with any one and he talked well with every 
one. He was one of those whom one would cross a muddy 
street to exchange a word with, and would pass on surprised 
and disappointed if, by a rare chance, something keen or pic- 
turesque or entertaining had not been said by the colonel. 
People used to repeat " what Harry Lee said this morning," 
and pass from mouth to mouth his " good things." As so often 
happens with witty sayings, one comes later expecting to glean 
much where there has been such luxuriance, but gathers hardly 
anything, finding only a general reminiscence with no mem- 
ory of particulars. What was said passed with the passing 
of the incident which called it forth. His talk was often of 
contemporaneous events, and then it was sure to be fresh and 
breezy, and not infrequently the breeze came keen from the 
east. Often it was of the old times, the ancient places, the 
people long ago dead, the stories and gossip of bygone days. 
Upon such topics he was discursive and would take all the 
time that his hearers could give him. His face displayed the 
infinite pleasure he found in such converse. His knowledge 
was abundant, accurate, and above all picturesque, and his 
power of description was remarkably vivid. He seemed to 
draw pictures of the colonial governors and portraits of the 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 251 

Indian fighters and Revolutionary soldiers, of the merchants 
and supercargoes, the ship-captains and the clergymen, and to 
show how they dressed and walked, how they talked, how 
they fared in their business ventures, what were their friend- 
ships and their partnerships, what their heart burnings and 
their quarrels among themselves. With equal skill he could 
replace the demolished houses, rebuild the old streets, and re- 
store the decayed gardens and fences. He seemed to have 
visited the antique rooms, to have clanged the brazen knockers 
on the colonial front doors, and tasted the sea-tossed Madeira 
or the Indian rum, liberally dispensed at all hours of the day at 
the mahogany sideboards, whose foreign carving he delighted 
to describe. Every descriptive adjective seemed his servant, 
and in each instance precisely that one which he needed 
came at his call. Often it was some rare and ancient word 
which came pricking up dusty with age as though it had been 
laid away for generations in order to perform a perfect duty 
in this special case. This was a natural gift, which undoubt- 
edly he had carefully cultivated to a great excellence. 

No less skilful was he to observe and describe his contem- 
poraries. Colonel T. W. Higginson says : " His judgments 
were often whimsical, often unreasonable, but pungent and 
telling. . . . He was a man too strongly prejudiced to be 
strictly just, but he was ready to be generous even to oppo- 
nents." The same gentleman also tells that, when he under- 
took to edit the Harvard Memorial Biographies, his kinsman 
was very efficient in helping him to choose the writers, " often 
summing up the man's character in advance. ... I should 
add that in that hour's talk with him about the Memorial 
Biographies, in speaking of men I did not know, he would 
often jump up and say, ' This is the way he would walk down 
State Street' ; and after each imitation I would feel acquainted 
with the man." By his terse and vivid words he could present 
pictures which others delighted to see, but lacked the capacity 
or the courage to present. Once upon the occasion of the 
choice of a new member to fill a vacancy in the Corporation 
of Harvard University, much preliminar}^ discussion occurred 
concerning the persons suggested. A list made by Colonel 
Lee was handed about, with prudent caution but to the in- 
finite entertainment of the privileged few who saw it, and to 
whom it gave in a few words the salient points concerning 



252 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

each candidate. To-day perhaps it may be safely published, 
since the only person now surviving is highly praised : — 

1827. Edmund Quincy. 

Spoiled a horn, but never made a spoon. 
1829. James Freeman Clarke. 

Scholarly, interested in the College, known through the 
State; but a Unitarian clergyman, as is Dr. Putnam. 
William Gray. 

Conscientious, public-spirited, bountiful, clear-headed, but 
works balkily in double harness, especially with the present 
Fellows. 

1835. E. Rockwood Hoar. 

Hereditarily fond of the College, strong-minded ; but too 
much like the present Fellows ; would swear that black 
was white, if contraried. 

1836. William Minot. 

An -old-fashioned man of excellent judgment and the loftiest 
character. 

1837. Richard H. Dana, Jr. 

Sincerely attached to the College, and widely known ; not 
marked by common sense. One of my comrades adds : A 
happy faculty at making enemies. 

1839. Samuel Eliot. 

A scholar, experienced educator, disinterested, devoted 
worker, known as a churchman, — - but a cousin of the 
president. 

1840. J. Elliot Cabot. 

The most accomplished scholar among the graduates not con- 
nected with the College; a man of very judicial mind and 
noble characteristics. 
William G. Russell. 

" Mens sana in corpore sano," interested in the College ; 
sagacious, judicious. 

1841. Francis E. Parker. 

Scholarly, shrewd, friendly to the College; but as his pecul- 
iarities are cultivated, his nature dies out. 

1843. John Lowell. 

Very eligible, — if an orphan. 
William A. Richardson. 

With a reputation strictly national ; might be had if wanted. 

1844. Francis Parkman. 

Interested in the College; of extensive literary reputation, of 
uncertain judgment, but abundant firmness. 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 253 

1849. Martin Brimmer. 

No want save that of scholarship. 
1855. Theodore Lyman. 

Spirited, lively, but light-headed at times, and a cousin of one 
of the Fellows. 
Phillips Brooks. 

A liberal churchman, an affectionate son of Harvard ; fancy 
that his talent lies chiefly in preaching. 
Alexander Agassiz. 

A scholar, level-headed, disinterested; wise man. 
1859. Francis V. Balch. 

Not widely known yet outside his profession ; but highly re- 
spected, where known, for his wisdom and perfect integrity. 

Many brilliant instances of this descriptive faculty are to be 
found in various papers left by Colonel Lee. There was no 
" fortemque Gyan, fortemque Cloanthum " in his list of heroes ; 
each one has his own proper distinguishment, done with a 
quick and clever touch, two or three lively words making a 
portrait. 

The chatty and somewhat garrulous quality of Mr. Lee's 
talk and of his newspaper writings marks also the speeches 
and addresses, of which he delivered a great number on occa- 
sions political and social. The style was not entirely well 
fitted for formal use ; but with his usual shrewd and just ap- 
preciation he dealt it out in that moderate quantity which 
was eminently agreeable, and always illumined his own re- 
marks with those apt and humorous quotations and those lit- 
erary allusions of which he had an endless store. He wrote 
in the same vein in which he talked and spoke. But as he 
talked better than he spoke, so he spoke better than he wrote. 
In his writing there seemed a certain fragmentary character. 
His thoughts succeeded too rapidly, so that not infrequently a 
single sentence held too many suggestions and allusions, be- 
came complex, and had to be read twice. He never had his pen 
long in hand before he had also an imaginary auditor before 
him, and thereupon he instinctively allowed himself those liber- 
ties which one may take in speaking, when aided by facial ex- 
pression and inflection, but which are apt to disfigure writing. 
He was conscious of this failing in style, and perhaps it was 
for this reason that he rarely made any sustained effort in 
literature. Indeed, the article in the " Atlantic Monthly " on 



254 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Mrs. Kemble and his contribution to the M Harvard Book " are 
the chief papers which he left behind him. Most of his news- 
paper writing, however, on political and other contemporary 
matters was of an excellence rare in those days, always with 
"snap" and "go" in abundance. But such work has to be 
served hot, read the day it is written, and is usually but a 
cold dish when the event to which it relates is recalled with 
difficulty. 

In one direction he was excelled by no person within mem- 
ory. When Lord Campbell's " Lives of the Lord Chancellors " 
appeared, the living Lords declared that it added to the terrors 
of death to think that their biographies might be written by 
his Lordship. It might have been said in Boston, e converso, 
that it diminished the terrors of death to think that one's 
obituary might be written by Colonel Lee. This function of 
an "Old Mortality" in the newspapers may not seem alto- 
gether attractive, but it really became so when done with such 
gracious charm as Colonel Lee gave to it. He held a pictur- 
esque memory of each departed acquaintance, had a kindly 
appreciation of his good qualities, and was animated by sym- 
pathy for those who would wish him to be pleasantly remem- 
bered. Accordingly, he always drew a striking portrait, gave 
praise which seemed not less just and sincere than generous, 
and warmed all with genuine feeling. For men and women, 
for the lowly as well as the highly placed, Colonel Lee loyally 
used this rare faculty. He ranged from the Hon. Robert C. 
Winthrop down to "old Logan," the negro waiter whose 
woolly locks and kindly, respectable, and respectful demeanor 
made him really a prominent feature in the Boston of fifty 
years ago. In speaking of what he wrote, one should not 
forget his caustic review of Dr. Hale's " Story of Massachu- 
setts " ; it was a keen, sarcastic bit of work, which would have 
done honor to the pen of Lord Macaulay or of Francis Jeffrey. 

Of Colonel Lee's tastes, next to matters theatrical, or per- 
haps not second even to that passion, came his great love for 
the country. Too much concerned in active and social life 
to bury himself in remote rural regions, he found his pleasure 
in such estates as in his day lay within a dozen miles of 
Boston. He had a quite extensive knowledge concerning 
the old places of this kind. Much of his own life was passed 
in Brookline, where he first built and occupied a brick house 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY LEE. 255 

on an estate which had been bought by himself and his 
father. This was a very charming spot, on the southerly 
slope of a hill, with an abundance of fine trees and an old- 
fashioned garden. Upon it had stood " the old mansion house 
in which was born Susannah Boylston, the mother of Presi- 
dent Adams." In 1838 the ancient house was replaced 
by another, still standing, and described by Mr. Lee as 
44 a fine specimen of the country house of the provincial 
era, with its ample fireplaces, well-wrought panelling, arched 
and pilastered alcoves, wide and easy staircases, carved balus- 
trades, etc." Here lived " the famous Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, 
who was mobbed, and afterward honored, in this country 
and England, for introducing inoculation for smallpox. He 
was the uncle of John Adams."- This history endeared the 
place to Colonel Lee, and he still owned it at the time of his 
death, though during his later years he occupied another house 
in the neighborhood, which had belonged to his wife's mother, 
and where he had sufficient scope to exercise his tastes for 
landscape gardening and horticulture. 

Memoirists often find it wise to forget to mention the per- 
sonal appearance and the manners of their heroes, but there is 
no such embarrassment in the case of Colonel Lee. He was 
very fine looking, tall, of vigorous form, and carrying himself 
well. He fortunately escaped too great regularity of feature ; 
but if the sculptor would not have selected him to be perpetu- 
ated in marble, the painter would have desired no better sub- 
ject for his canvas. His features were strong and manly, full 
of expression, and varying in sympathy with the mood of the 
moment. Sometimes he was thoughtful, but more often, in 
conversation, humor enlivened his face. Nearly always one 
saw plainly a mingling of shrewdness which would not be easily 
deceived, with kindliness which would be readily moved. 
Yet he was quite capable of sterner aspect on occasions which 
called for it. His bearing was simple but very distinguished. 
No one ever looked more fully the gentleman, and his manners 
were those of the born aristocrat, and of a certain courtliness 
which seems to belong to bygone da}'s. He looked as the best 
type of English gentleman ought to look, according to the dearly 
cherished ideals of the literature which we used to read in our 
youth; — " an English gentleman in America," as has also 
been said of George Washington, without prejudice to the 



256 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

entire Americanism either of General Washington or of 
Colonel Lee. At the risk of being charged with triviality, it 
may be added that he was a very well-dressed man, being 
faultlessl} r neat, and not of the class of those who conceive 
that the descendant of a line of gentlemen gains thereby the 
privilege of being a sloven. In his costume he evinced his 
dramatic skill, for he appreciated his own appearance and 
character and may be said to have dressed his own part in life 
to perfection. Only in one respect was he ever false to the 
dramatic proprieties ; by his personal appearance he should 
have been a prominent member of some congregation of High 
Church Episcopalians. But in excuse for this short-coming 
upon his part, it must be remembered that in his early days 
churches of this creed were as yet without the cachet of 
fashionable society in Boston, and with his family connections 
he could not be otherwise than a Unitarian. Indeed, with his 
humorous extravagance in statement, he used to allege that 
any New Englander who was not a Unitarian must have some 
defect in his intellectual make-up. He himself was a church- 
goer, and should be described as a devout man, at least as 
devotion goes among Unitarians, though he was very liberal 
in his ideas. In the early days when Ralph Waldo Emerson 
was still anathema for all Christians, scarcely excepting even 
advanced Unitarians, Mr. Lee was not afraid to be ranked 
among his admirers. It was also largely through his efforts 
that the use of the Music Hall was secured for Theodore 
Parker, when that quasi-divine was preaching on Sundays a 
sort of secular sermon which shocked the good Unitarians as 
much as their religious discourses shocked the good Orthodox. 
The story cannot now be recovered in exact form, but the 
substance was that the majority of the proprietors of the Hall, 
then newly constructed, was strongly opposed to this use of it. 
Prominent in this majority was Mr. Lee's own uncle, Mr. 
Thomas Lee ; but by some skilful manoeuvre Mr. Lee, who 
owned only one share, brought it about that the minority 
conquered the majority ; and thereafter the people of the 
" new light" gathered regularly on the sacred day to listen to 
the addresses of a very good and very eloquent man. 

About two years before his death Colonel Lee retired from 
the firm of Lee, Higginson & Co. His last expression of inter- 
est in public affairs was in opposition to the war with poor 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HEN11Y LEE. 257 

old Spain, which seemed to him needless, easily avoidable, and 
not much to the honor of a powerful nation. He fortunately 
escaped, in his declining days, any prolonged period of physical 
debility, and his intellectual faculties stayed by him to the 
end. He died on the twenty-fourth day of November, 1898. 
His funeral was from the stone church on the hill in Brook- 
line, about a mile from his house, and a notable gathering of 
relatives and friends gave striking token of the affection and 
respect which he had justly inspired. 



33 



258 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOBICAL SOCIETY. [Apeil, 



MEMOIll 

OF 

GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR. 

BY NATHANIEL PAINE AND G. STANLEY HALL. 



In preparing this memoir the committee to whom it was 
assigned have had in mind the fact that Senator Lodge has 
already made a communication to the Society in commemora- 
tion of Senator Hoar, and that his public career has been char- 
acterized by many of his colleagues in the special services held 
by the Senate of the United States and the House of Repre- 
sentatives, before the Massachusetts Legislature, and also in 
no less than forty-seven hundred editorials in as many Ameri- 
can newspapers, which have been collected ; therefore the 
committee will confine themselves for the most part to Mr. 
Hoar's private life as known to those who saw the most of him 
in and about Worcester. 

George Frisbie Hoar was the son of Samuel and Sarah Sher- 
man Hoar, and was born at Concord, Massachusetts, August 
29, 1826. He graduated at Harvard University in the class of 
1846, and in 1819 became a resident of Worcester. In his 
Autobiography he says : " I chose Worcester as a place to live in 
for the reason that that city and county were the strongholds 
of the new anti-slavery party, to which cause I was devoted 
with all my heart and soul." One of his first public speeches 
was at an anti-slavery meeting in the City Hall of Worcester, 
at which Judge Charles Allen presided. On coming to 
Worcester he became a member of the Worcester Bar, and 
three years later entered into partnership with Hon. Emory 
Washburn. Later he was a law partner of the late Attorney- 
General Devens and J. Henry Hill. 

He very soon showed an interest in municipal affairs, and 
was twice nominated for Mayor of Worcester, but declined to 
accept the nomination. He took an active part in the politics 



1905.] MEMOIR OF GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR. 259 

of the time, and for several years was chairman of the county 
committee. In 1852 he was elected a representative from 
Worcester to the General Court, was State Senator in 1857, 
and made chairman of the Judiciary Committee. 

His fellow citizens highly appreciated his ability and states- 
manlike qualities, and in 1868 made him a Member of Con- 
gress, where he served until the Massachusetts Legislature 
elected him to the United States Senate in 1877, of which body 
he was a member until his death, September 30, 1904. 

Very soon after settling in Worcester he became interested 
in its literary and educational institutions, which interest he 
maintained until his death. 

In August, 1852, he presided at a meeting of those inter- 
ested in forming a society for the benefit of the young men of 
the city, which was organized under the name of " The Young 
Men's Library Association," and was a prominent factor in 
Worcester literary life for many years. Mr. Hoar was chosen 
vice-president of the new society, and from 1853 to 1856 was 
its president. In the latter year, this society was united with 
the Worcester Lyceum, an association founded in 1829 for the 
purpose of conducting a course of lectures during the winter 
months. He was president of the Library Association at the 
time the union was effected, and took great interest in its con- 
summation. It was the Lyceum and Library Association that 
was largely instrumental in the establishment of the Free 
Public Library of Worcester. With his usual public spirit, Mr. 
Hoar started a subscription for the support of this library, and 
was a director from 1862 to 1867 and president in 1866-1867. 

He was a member of the first board of directors of the 
" Free Institute of Industrial Science,'' now the Worcester 
Polytechnic Institute, and remained a member of the board of 
trustees until his death. 

Though a young man, only twenty-seven years of age, his 
antiquarian and historical interests caused him to be elected a 
member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1853, of which 
he was president from 1884 to 1888, and vice-president from 
the latter date until his death. His voice was often heard at 
meetings of the society, and he prepared valuable historical 
and antiquarian papers which were published in the Proceed- 
ings. Representing the Antiquarian Society, he took an active 
part in 1896-1897 in the return to this country of the Bradford 



260 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

manuscript, " The Log of the Mayflower." Among the papers 
presented by him were " President Garfield's New England 
Ancestry," in October, 1881 ; " Obligations of New England 
to the County of Kent," in April, 1885 ; and " The Connecti- 
cut Compromise," April, 1902. He retained his interest in the 
society until his death, and in his last illness expressed the 
hope that he might be able to prepare one more paper which 
he had in mind for its Proceedings. 

He was chosen a member of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society in November, 1886, and was always interested in its 
objects, and attended meetings whenever his duties at Wash- 
ington would permit. He often made remarks at the meetings, 
besides preparing special papers. One of the most important 
of these was on " Possible Changes in the Course of History." 
He also prepared a memoir of Judge Horace Gray, and in 
May, 1901, spoke at some length on the return of the Bradford 
manuscript. 

Upon the incorporation of Clark University, in 1887, he was 
selected by the founder as one of the trustees, and was at once 
chosen vice-president of the board. Upon the death of the 
founder, he became president of the board, and held this office 
at the time of his death. It was through his instrumentality 
that Dr. G. Stanley Hall was selected as its president, and 
brought to Worcester from the Johns Hopkins University, 
where for eight years he had held a professorship. 

Mr. Hoar always took a deep interest in the affairs of the 
University, to which he contributed a large number of books 
and pamphlets, and was an earnest advocate of the policy of 
advanced academic work and original research. Upon the 
death of the founder, he cheerfully assumed the chief burden 
of the very grave problem involved in his will. It was chiefly 
through his agency that the estate was finally settled in the 
interests of the University, — the will given a clear and legal 
interpretation according to the founder's purpose, — a col- 
legiate department established, and the Hon. Carroll D. Wright 
brought from the head of the Labor Bureau at Washington to 
the presidency of the undergraduate department, in which 
Senator Hoar before his death took a very deep interest. His 
own addresses at the inauguration of President Hall in 1889, 
and of President Wright in 1902, will always be remembered 
for their earnestness and breadth of view by all who heard or 



1905.] MEMOIR OF GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR. 261 

read them. Of all the institutions in Worcester that enjoyed 
the benefit of his counsels and his services, none has occasion to 
remember them with profounder gratitude than the University. 

Mr. Hoar's scholarship and his literary abilities were rec- 
ognized by several learned bodies. In 1873 the honorary 
degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by William and Mary 
College, followed by the same degree from Amherst College 
in 1879, from Yale University in 1885, and from his Alma 
Mater, Harvard University, in 1886. Mr. Hoar was a member 
of the famous Saturday Club of Boston, having as his associates 
many eminent men like Agassiz, Emerson, Lowell, Longfellow, 
Prescott, Dana, and Adams. 

In April, 1901, the Rufus Putnam Memorial Association was 
formed to purchase the homestead of General Putnam at Rut- 
land, Massachusetts. Of the work done here, Senator Hoar 
was the moving spirit from its inception until his death. By his 
own exertions he obtained subscriptions sufficient to pay for 
the property, and made a large collection of colonial furniture, 
not only from this country, but from England, and personally 
conducted its installation in the various rooms of the old 
homestead. Thus this association, which indirectly grew 
out of Mr. Hoar's memorable address at Marietta, Ohio, com- 
memorating General Putnam's great achievement of opening 
the Northwest, was entirely his work, and one of his favorite 
recreations the last few summers of his life was to make 
frequent visits to Rutland with companies of his friends. 

In 1902, upon Mr. Hoar's initiative, the Worcester County 
Devens Statue Commission was incorporated, naming him as 
the first member of the commission, of which he remained 
chairman until his death. He took the liveliest interest in 
this object up to the time of his death, and in his last ill- 
ness expressed regret that he could not live to see the statue 
completed and placed in position in front of the Worcester 
Court House. 

One of Senator Hoar's marked traits of character was his 
passionate love of country life, and the great enjoyment he 
derived from drives and trolley rides with his friends to visit 
favorite points. Among these should be mentioned Asnebum- 
skit Hill, which he purchased and which he frequently visited. 
This hill is the highest land in Worcester County, with the 
exception of Mount Wachusett and Little Wachusett, and it 



262 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

commands a fine view of Worcester and the surrounding 
country. He purchased Asnebumskit, as he said, to own a 
part of the horizon. Another favorite excursion was to Re- 
demption Rock in Westminster, upon which was placed a 
tablet with the inscription, " On this rock, May 2, 1676, was 
made the agreement for the ransom of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson 
of Lancaster between John Hoar of Concord and the Indians." 
He knew intimately all of even the out-of-the-way roads within 
convenient driving distance of Worcester, and of every town- 
ship in the county and of many dwellings had interesting per- 
sonal reminiscences. 

His afternoon drives were to Rutland, Auburn, Sutton, Mill- 
bury, while the trolley rides of which he came to be very fond 
extended farther — to Spencer, Southbridge, Oxford, Clinton, 
Lancaster, and Marlboro. Occasionally longer excursions in- 
volving one or two nights spent away from home were taken 
with a chosen few. Concord, Lexington, Monadnock, Ash- 
field, and Deerfield were among these. He had been retained 
as counsel by nearly every town in the county, and as he grew 
old was fond of visiting graveyards and recalling those he had 
known. On his excursions he desired invariably to be host, 
and only occasionally by strategy were his friends enabled to 
bear their own share of the expenses. It seemed often a posi- 
tive passion with him to do favors for, and even to give little 
pleasures to, his friends. To this end he often seemed to spare 
no pains, and gave great thought, and sometimes made prepa- 
rations long in advance, to bestow a favor that would be most 
cherished. 

To those who accompanied him in these frequent excur- 
sions, he was not only the most delightful companion, giving 
his marvellous conversational powers full sway, but he often 
seemed to enter into the enjoyment of the moment with an 
abandon that was a characteristic expression of the perennial 
youthfulness of his nature. Such excursions, too, were fre- 
quently an opportunity for discussing practical problems and 
doing committee work with others, and also of enlisting their 
interest in projects he had at heart. Up to within a few days 
of his final illness, he found great pleasure and recreation in 
such excursions, interpersed as they often were by colloquies 
with residents along the routes, all of whom he knew, and 
most of the older of whom knew him. 



1905.] MEMOIR OF GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR. 263 

He often spoke of his finances and of his limited resources, 
and could not understand why men are often so secretive 
about their financial matters. He always made full and com- 
plete returns to the assessors, and declared that his best invest- 
ments were made when he paid his taxes. He subscribed, and 
often with surprising generosity for a man of his means, to 
nearly every worthy cause that was presented. He made no 
charges for addresses or political speeches, and was content to 
have his travelling expenses paid, but often indifferent even 
about that. 

His delight in country life and his enjoyment of nature, his 
rare fondness for birds, and, entirely unmusical as he was, his 
passion for listening to their singing, were very prominent 
traits of his character. 

He was a great friend of children and young people, and 
often carried about quarters and half-dollars fresh from the 
mint to give to those he met. 

His manner of life was very simple ; his love of literature 
of the best the English language afforded was a marked char- 
acteristic, and coupled with his love of nature made him a 
most genial companion, to which those who were honored 
with his friendship will bear witness. He was a great lover 
of books, and it was in his library that he most enjoyed him- 
self, and where he spent many quiet and restful hours. He 
enjoyed showing his rare books to friends who were interested 
in them. In speaking of his way of living he once said, " I 
have been in my day an extravagant collector of books, and have 
a library which you would like to see and which I should like 
to show you." Many of the most valuable books are enriched 
by the addition of autograph letters of the authors, and in 
these he took especial pride. His familiarity with English lit- 
erature and history made him at home in London in a way 
that often surprised his American fellow travellers. 

A man of great ability, and one who received the highest 
honors from the State and nation, yet to the humblest of his 
friends he was on such good terms of fellowship that one could 
not but feel at ease in his company. With a delightful con- 
versational power and a most remarkable memory that could 
at once call to mind words of wisdom or of humor from the best 
in English literature, his society was a pleasure and an inspira- 
tion to those privileged and honored by his friendship. 



264 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

Owing to Senator Hoar's good taste and his choice command 
of good English, he was often called upon to furnish inscrip- 
tions for monuments and public places. For instance, when 
the new Court House in Worcester was built, he was called 
upon to furnish fitting lines to be placed over an arch in the 
main entrance, and he suggested the following, which was 
adopted : " Here speaketh the conscience of the State re- 
straining the individual will." 

The inscription on his father's monument in Sleepy Hollow 
Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts, as furnished by Mr. Hoar, 
is: — 

" He was long one of the most eminent lawyers and bestbeloved citizens 
of Massachusetts. A safe counsellor and kind neighbor, a Christian 
gentleman. He had a dignity that commanded the respect, and a sweet- 
ness and modesty that won the affection of all men. He practised an 
economy that never wasted, and a liberality that never spared. Of 
proved capacity for the highest offices, he never avoided obscure duties. 
He never sought station or eminence, and never shrank from positions 
of danger or obloquy. His days were made happy by public esteem 
and private affection. To the last moment of his long life he preserved 
his clear intellect unimpaired, and fully conscious of its approach met 
death with the perfect assurance of immortal life." 

Another, upon John Prescott, is as follows : — 

" Here with his children about him lies John Prescott, founder of 
Lancaster and first settler of Worcester County. Born at Standish, 
Lancashire, England; died at Lancaster, Massachusetts, Dec. 1681. 
Inspired by the love of liberty and the fear of God, this stout-hearted 
pioneer, forsaking the pleasant vales of England, took up his abode in 
the unbroken forest and encountered wild beast and savage to secure 
freedom for himself and his posterity. His faith and virtues have been 
inherited by many descendants who in every generation have well 
served the State in war, in literature, at the bar, in the pulpit, in public 
life, and in Christian homes." 

It has been sometimes said that Senator Hoar's services in 
Congress were not of a practical nature. As an illustration of 
his ability and efficiency in bringing forward practical questions 
for the consideration of Congress, we append the following list 
of bills which he drafted and of which he secured the passage 
in Congress, with a reference to other official services rendered 
by him : — 



1905.] MEMOIR OF GEORGE FR1SBIE HOAR. 265 

Presidential Succession Bill. 

National Bankruptcy Bill. 

Electoral Commission Bill and Service on Commission. 

Bill for Settlement of Southern Claims. Ten years' service on such 

committee. 
Bills for relief of Southern Colleges and for losses during Civil 

War. 
Chairman Judiciary Committee for fourteen years. Every bill passed 

by Congress examined and approved by him during that time. 
Author of so-called Sherman Trust Bill. 
Author of Bureau Education Bill. 
Author of Eads Jetty Bill. 
Bill Limiting the Franchise in the Philippine Islands by which great 

frauds were defeated. 
Bill for Relief of Educational Institutions from tax of 15% on legacy. 
Secured repeal Civil Tenure Bill. 
Bill establishing salaries of U. S. Judiciary. 

Other evidence might be added, if necessary, that he was 
often of assistance to others in preparing important bills. 

For many years several of the ablest American newspapers 
were frequently outspoken in their criticism of his public acts. 
One of the remarkable incidents in the period following his 
death is the fact that journals like the Chicago Tribune, the 
New York Evening Post, the Springfield Republican, and the 
Boston Herald see'med to vie with each other in glorifying his 
memory. Says the former, August 19 : — 

"To-day, as in the past, calumny loves to besmirch the reputations of 
public men. Senator Hoar is one of those she has never dared to attack. 
No one has ever ventured even to insinuate a suspicion of his integrity 
or sincerity. Public life has not been a mine of wealth for him. As 
he said a year ago, if he had never entered it and had kept to his pro- 
fession, he would have been well off, instead of having only a trifle to 
leave his heirs. But when he bids farewell to earth, he will leave a 
possession which the gold of all the multi-millionaires cannot buy, — 
the fame of having served his country long and well, of having taken 
his moral principles into politics with him to guide his course, of having 
been true to his ideals, no matter what the odds were against him, and 
of having stood up bravely to rebuke the party he loved when he 
thought it was in the wrong." 

Mr. Hoar was a religious man, very broad and liberal in his 
views, and tolerant of the religious views of others. One of 

34 



266 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Aprtj^ 

his utterances, which may well be quoted here, was this : " I 
have no faith in fatalism, in destiny, in blind force. I believe 
in God, the living God, in the American people who do not 
bow the neck or bend the knee to any other, and who desire 
no other to bow the neck or bend the knee to them. I 
believe, finally, that whatever clouds may darken the horizon, 
the world is growing better, that to-day is better than yester- 
day, and to-morrow will be better than to-day." He was a 
regular attendant at church, and had very strong convictions 
as to the duty and necessity of it. In one of his published 
addresses he said: "There is, in my judgment, no more com- 
manding public duty than attendance at church on Sunday. 
. . . Let there be one place and one hour devoted to quiet, 
from which the world is shut out, as it is shut out on a long 
voyage at sea." 

The two religious doctrines to which he held almost pas- 
sionately were the belief in God and in a future life. Many 
times on excursions with his friends, especially in his later 
years, he would revert to these topics, ask their opinions, and 
usually in the end express his own with very great positive- 
ness. These appeared to be the fundamental articles of his 
creed, and it was hard for him to see how any one could in 
any degree doubt them. 

Bravely as he used to say that he did not fear growing old, 
he had not taken into account the loss of relatives and friends 
by death and its consequent loneliness. In an address given 
several years ago before a society of gentlemen at Worcester, 
he said : — 

" The greatest penalty of growing old is the loss of the friends of 
youth. Dying to a brave man, certainly to a brave old man, is in the 
death of others, not in his own. It is this which alike gives age its 
terror, and is the chief reconciler and consoler as the end of life comes 
on. When the voices that were its music are silent, it's well that the 
ears grow dumb. When the faces which were their delight have van- 
ished, it is well that the eyes grow dim. In some rare examples of old 
men, too, this is largely compensated by that which, except health of 
body and mind, is the best gift of God to man, — a large capacity for 
friendship, which takes in and welcomes the new generations as they 
come." x 

1 From a centennial address entitled " Old Age and Immortality," before the 
Worcester Fire Society, January 21, 1893. 



1905.] MEMOIR OF GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR. 2G7 

Senator Gorman, of Maryland, in his eulogy of Mr. Hoar, 
says : — 

" He was a partisan without rancor, an antagonist without bitterness, 
a friend without reservation and conditions, a conqueror without ven- 
geance, a loser without resentment." 

Senator Lodge's resolution contains the following : — 

" His life was given to the service of his country and of his fellow- 
men. For forty years he was one of those who guided and watched 
over the fortunes of the republic. His achievements are written in 
the history of the United States. Patriot and statesman, orator and 
scholar, a lawyer, a jurist, and a great senator and leader of men. . . . 
His abilities were commanding, his ideals noble, his conduct of life fol- 
lowed the loftiest standards. Pure of heart, stainless in honor, tender 
in his affections, fearless and unswerving in the path of duty, unfalter- 
ing in his loyalty to friends and to country, his life will be an example 
and an inspiration to the generations yet to be. He has died at the 
summit of his great career. He met death with the serene courage 
which had never failed him in the trials of life, surrounded by all that 
should accompany old age, — honor, love, obedience, troops of friends. 
So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded on the other side." 



268 



MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 



MEMOIR 

OF 

JOHN S. BRAYTON. 

BY WILLIAM W. CRAPO. 



John Summerfield Brayton, son of Israel and Kezia (An- 
thony) Brayton, was born in Swansea, Bristol County, Massa- 
chusetts, on December 3, 1826, and died at his home in the 
city of Fall River, Massachusetts, October 30, 1904. 

His grandfather, John Brayton, was a pioneer of Methodism 
in southeastern Massachusetts, and it was in honor of the Rev. 
John Summerfield, a distinguished Methodist preacher of New 
England in the thirties, that Mr. Brayton was named. 

He was descended from Francis Brayton who, coming from 
England, settled in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1643, and 
every branch of his ancestry was of early New England stock. 

Mr. Brayton's father was a farmer, and it was on the farm, 
engaged in the active work of cultivating the soil and tending 
the cattle, that his early boyhood was spent. It was then that 
he formed the love of hard and unremitting labor, and also the 
charm of country life and agricultural pursuits to which he 
devoted the limited leisure of a busy life far removed in its in- 
terests from the cultivation of the soil. In his later years he 
took much pleasure and comfort in the large farms which he 
maintained in Somerset, visiting them almost daily and taking 
pride in all that was produced from them. 

As a boy he attended the district school near his home and 
in Fall River, and by his own efforts acquired sufficient knowl- 
edge to enable him in turn to act as a teacher. Subsequently 
he attended Pierce's Academy at Middleboro, one of the excel- 
lent country academies which in the first half of the last cen- 
tury deserved a high reputation. Subsequently he prepared 
for college at the University Grammar School in Providence, 
entering Brown University in 1847 and graduating with honor 
in 1851. 



1905.] MEMOIR OF JOHN S. BRAYTON. 269 

After graduation Mr. Bray ton studied law in the office of 
Thomas D. Eliot of New Bedford, and subsequently finished 
his legal education in the Dane Law School of Harvard Col- 
lege. He was admitted to the Suffolk County Bar, August 8, 
1853, entering at once upon the practice of law in Fall River. 
For fifteen years he followed his chosen profession, gain- 
ing: the confidence of his fellow-citizens and of the business 
community. 

He acted as the first City Solicitor of Fall River in 1854, and 
continued to hold the office until 1857, when he resigned. In 
1856 he represented the city in the General Court. In 1857 
he was elected as the Clerk of the Courts of Bristol, receiving 
a nomination from both parties and the unanimous endorse- 
ment of the Bar of the County. He continued to act as Clerk 
of the Courts for seven years, declining a re-election in 1864. 
He then resumed the general practice of law, forming a part- 
nership with James M. Morton, now one of the Justices of the 
Supreme Judicial Court. 

Mr. Brayton during all his life took an intelligent interest in 
political matters, being a loyal republican from the foundation 
of the party. He served as a member of the Governor's 
Council in 1866, 1867, 1868, 1879, and 1880, under Governor 
Bullock, Governor Talbot, and Governor Long. 

It was, however, not through the exercise of his profession 
of law or through his faithful service as a public officer, but 
through the marvellously successful administration of large 
business interests intimately connected with the prosperity and 
advance of his home city, that he became pre-eminently the 
leading man of his locality and the pivotal figure in Fall 
River's financial and industrial history. 

In 1868 Mr. Brayton formally withdrew from the practice 
of his profession, and entered upon the full management of the 
large estate of his sister, the widow of Bradford Durfee, one 
of the leading business men of Fall River, who had contributed 
largely to the development of his native city, accumulating a 
large property which was actively employed in various local 
industrial enterprises. To the faithful and conscientious ad- 
ministration of this large property, and of the almost number- 
less industrial enterprises which an ever-increasing wealth 
brought under his supervision, he devoted the remainder 
of his life. A partial list of the executive offices which he 



270 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

filled, not perfunctorily but with intense and conscientious 
fidelity, gives some idea of his pre-eminent ability as a busi- 
ness man. 

In 1864 Mr Bray ton organized the First National Bank, 
serving as its active president until his death. In 1887 the 
B. M. C. Durfee Safe Deposit and Trust Company was organ- 
ized, and Mr. Brayton became its president and continued to 
act as such until his death. In 1865, with his brother and 
nephew, he built the large Durfee Mills, and from 1872 until 
his deatli acted as president of the corporation. At the time 
of his death, and for many years prior thereto, he was the 
president of the American Linen Company, the Fall River 
Manufactory, the Granite, Mechanics, Border City, and Troy 
Mills, and a director in many other Fall River corporations, as 
well as in the Old Colony Railroad and the Old Colony Steam- 
boat Company. 

At an earlier date he was largely interested in an executive 
capacity with the American Print Works and the Fall River 
Iron Works, with their numerous contributory and allied in- 
terests, and also served as the president of the Fall River 
Machine Company, the Metacomet Mills, the Anawan Mills, 
and the Fall River Gas Works Company. 

By temperament and habit Mr. Brayton was conservative in 
business affairs. In originating new enterprises he was ex- 
tremely cautious to inquire with much painstaking interest 
as to their probable outcome before he ventured to enter upon 
them. In any business in which he was concerned he always 
looked after details, not through distrust of the officials in 
charge, but because he desired conscientiously to inform him- 
self, and to be able when necessary to give the deciding word. 
Cautious and painstaking as he was, he was none the less 
broad-minded and considerate. With wealth beyond that of 
his fellow-citizens, he was always unostentatious and unob- 
trusive, scrupulously upright, public-spirited, philanthropic, 
and generous not only in gifts for the promotion of the public 
welfare but no less so in multiplied benevolence of a private 
nature. At the time when the fortunes of Fall River were 
under a cloud and the outlook was dark, and many men of less 
resources were forced to extremes in order to tide over seem- 
ingly unsurmountable difficulties, Mr. Brayton, notwithstand- 
ing his extreme conservatism and hesitancy to assume risks, 



1905.] MEMOIR OF JOHN S. BRAYTON. 271 

none the less by the careful use of the vast resources which 
he controlled, came to the rescue. 

His business cares, however, did not diminish his sympathy 
with the higher forms of human culture, nor prevent him from 
engaging in philanthropic, literary, and historical activities. 
Especially deep was his interest in the educational welfare of 
his home city and in the larger educational interests of the 
country. To the construction of a magnificent High School 
building which his sister gave to the city of Fall River in 
memory of her son Bradford M. C. Durfee, he gave unremit- 
ting and careful supervision for several years, continuing his 
personal interest and oversight of the development of the 
school during his life, and helping many deserving young men 
to the means which would enable them to obtain a higher 
education. 

In 1893 his Alma Mater conferred upon him the degree of 
Doctor of Laws, and from 1898 until his death he was a Fellow 
of Brown University. For eighteen years (1882-1900) he was 
also a Trustee of Amherst College. 

Descended from Methodist stock, his religious life was for 
the most part identified with the Congregational faith, yet his 
benefactions to religious and philanthropic institutions were 
not limited by denominational lines, being inspired with a 
broad and intelligent perception of the good in all sincere 
effort directed to the uplifting of humanity. He was a liberal 
supporter of many weak churches, both at home and in distant 
places. Especially to the hospital of his home city which in 
1885 he assisted in founding and of which he was president, 
did he furnish liberal support and personal service. 

Mr. Brayton's interest in local history was one of the main 
delights of his leisure time. He cultivated this taste in every 
possible way, and was recognized as the most trustworthy his- 
torian of the locality in which his life was spent. The per- 
sonality of public men intensely interested him ; and one of his 
hobbies was the keeping of a record book, always at hand, in 
which he recorded the birth years of hundreds of men in pub- 
lic life, and also of friends and men of local prominence. 

He had an acquaintance with the antiquities of southeast- 
ern Massachusetts and Rhode Island probably beyond that 
of any other individual, and delighted in discovering hidden 
matters of interest connected with the early history of New 



272 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOKICAL SOCIETY. [April, 

England. He was often called upon to deliver historical ad- 
dresses; and the substantial contributions to historical infor- 
mation which he thus made deserve preservation in permanent 
form. 

Mr. Brayton was president of the Old Colony Historical 
Society, and a member of the New-England Historic Gen- 
ealogical Society, of the Rhode Island Historical Society, 
and of the Massachusetts Historical Society, being elected a 
member of the latter in 1898. 

Mr. Bra} T ton married, November 27, 1855, Sarah Jane Tink- 
ham, daughter of Enoch and Rebecca (Williams) Tinkham, of 
Middleboro, who survives him. Three children of this mar- 
riage also survive: John Summerfield Brayton, Jr., of Fall 
River ; Mary Brayton Nichols, wife of Dr. Charles L. Nichols, 
of Worcester ; and Harriet H. Brayton, of Fall River. 



1905.] REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT. 273 



MAY MEETING, 1905. 

The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 11th instant, 
at three o'clock, P. M. ; the President, Charles Francis 
Adams, LL.D., in the chair. 

The record of the Annual Meeting was read and approved ; 
and the Librarian read the list of donors to the Library dur- 
ing the past month. Among the books was the first volume 
of the very thorough and elaborate " History of the United 
States" which has been long in preparation by a Resident 
Member, Mr. Edward Channing, Professor of History in Har- 
vard University. The Librarian presented, in the name of 
Mr. Sidnejf L. Smith, of Boston, a copy of the large portrait 
of Charles W. Eliot, LL.D., recently engraved by him. 

Mr. Bliss Perry, editor of the " Atlantic Monthly," was 
elected a Resident Member ; and M. Gabriel Hanotaux, of 
Paris, France, was elected a Corresponding Member. 

Messrs. Edward J. Young, Alexander McKenzie, and Charles 
C. Smith were appointed a Committee to publish the Proceed- 
ings for the current year. 

Messrs. Thornton K. Lothrop, S. Lothrop Thorndike, and 
Charles C. Smith were appointed a House Committee. 

Messrs. Albert B. Hart and Roger B. Merriman were ap- 
pointed a Committee to superintend the preparation of a Con- 
solidated Index to the Second Series of the Proceedings. 

On motion of the Treasurer it was 

Voted, That the income of the Massachusetts Historical 
Trust-Fund for the last financial year be retained in the 
Treasury, to be applied to such purposes as the Council may 
direct. 

The President said that, while the ballots were in prog- 
ress, and before communications from the regular section of 
the day were called for, certain matters could be disposed of. 

He would, in the first place, call attention to an impression 
of the steel plate engraving from Marshall Johnson's painting 

35 



274 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

of the " Mayflower" which had recently been executed by 
John A. Lowell & Co. The painting was from the model of 
the " Mayflower " made by Captain J. W. Collins by order of the 
United States government, and now in the National Museum 
at Washington. At the time subscriptions for the engraving 
were invited,' the President said he had put his name down 
for two copies, one a signed artist proof, with the Society in 
mind. He now presented it. The picture may claim to 
be a very correct and lifelike representation of the original 
" Mayflower," as she probably appeared when under full sail. 
As an engraving, the work must speak for itself; but it 
seemed eminently proper a copy should be in the possession 
of the Society. 

Returning from a four months' absence, mainly in Africa, 
among a large accumulated mass of manuscript and printed 
matter, of greater or less value, — generally of less, — he had 
found three pamphlets of interest, which he desired to add 
to the collections of the Society ; and, in so doing, he wished 
to make such mention of them as would insure a reference 
in the Index to the Proceedings. These pamphlets could thus, 
and thus only, have a chance of coming to the notice of 
investigators and students. 

The first of the three was a paper by Albert Matthews, — a 
reprint from the New-England Historical and Genealogical 
Register of April, 1905, entitled " The Naming of Hull." The 
reference, of course, was to the town of Hull, in Massachusetts. 
This pamphlet, the President remarked, was of peculiar in- 
terest to him personally, inasmuch as it was directed to the 
correction of an error into which he had apparently fallen 
in editing, for the Prince Society, Thomas Morton's " New- 
English Canaan." He there came across the statement that 
" Mr. Wethercock, a proper Mariner," and the commander of 
one of the ships which came to Boston in 1630, for certain 
reasons " was resolved to lie at Hull." He inferred, and so 
said, that the reference was to the locality at the mouth of 
Boston harbor then generally known as Nantaskot, but, in 
1644, called Hull. Mr. Matthews, in this paper, maintains 
that "to lie at hull" was a seventeenth-century nautical 
term, signifying simply lying with no sail set. Morton ac- 
cordingly, in making use of the term, did not mean to imply 
that the person he calls " Mr. Wethercock " anchored at 



1905.] REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT. 275 

Hull, but merely that he, for certain reasons, laid-to his 
ship, — thought best "to beare no saile." 

Mr. Matthews supports this contention by an array of refer- 
ences and quotations which prove clearly that I here fell into 
an editorial error. I will frankly confess that, until I read 
Mr. Matthews's pamphlet, I was not aware that any such 
expression as " lying at hull," equivalent to " lying at an- 
chor," or " lying-to," had ever been in use. Nevertheless, it 
is obvious such is the fact ; and, moreover, though now 
obsolete, it was, as a form of nautical speech, in common 
use when Morton wrote. 

Compelled to acknowledge both my ignorance and my error, 
I wish to put the correct reading on record, — a warning and 
example for all future editors. In so doing I have nothing 
to say in extenuation. In my over-confidence substituting 
a capital, I printed the word " Hull " ; whereas, in the text 
of the copy of the " New English Canaan " from which I 
edited, it appeared correctly, " hull." 

Nevertheless, I am still strongly inclined to think that the 
inference I drew in the note to the Prince Society edition 
of the "New English Canaan" (p. 337) was correct, — that 
the locality since 1644 legally called Hull, at the entrance to 
Boston harbor, was generally known by mariners by the name 
it now bears long before it was so ordered by the General 
Court, May 29, 1644, " that Nantaskot shall be called Hull." 
My reason for so thinking is that very many of the islands, 
promontories, etc., in and about Boston bay bore the names 
by which the}' have since been known years before Winthrop's 
arrival and the definitive settlement. For instance, Squantum 
was so named by Standish on his first trip of exploration, in 
September, 1.621. The Farm School Island, directly opposite, 
was then called the Island Trevore, and subsequently Thomp- 
son's Island, the name it still bears. The Brewsters and 
Point Allerton were likewise so named at that time. Ped- 
dock's Island, directly opposite Hull, is so designated by Mor- 
ton ; as also is Nut Island. Mount Wollaston got that name 
as early as 1625. This list might be considerably extended, but 
the foregoing will suffice for examples. My own belief is 
that the water inside Nantaskot, or Nantasket beach, — which, 
by the way, is another case in point, — was a favorite anchoring- 
ground for the vessels which every season frequented the bay 



276 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

during the years preceding the settlement. The mariners 
visiting the coast were in the custom of there lying at hull, or 
lying at anchor. My theory is that the point became, there- 
fore, known in common speech as Hull, or the anchorage 
ground, and subsequently the name was formally given to it. 
I must add, however, that I cannot adduce any direct evidence 
in support of this theory. 

Mr. Matthews also calls attention to another fact in connec- 
tion with the "New English Canaan" which had escaped my 
knowledge. He says, truly enough, that Morton is "nothing 
if not fanciful in the names he employs." In my notes to the 
" New English Canaan " I made no attempt to identify " Mr. 
Wethercock." Mr. Matthews now shows that by " Wether- 
cock " was designated John Grant, the master of the ship 
" Handmaid," more than once referred to by Winthrop. 

The next of the three pamphlets is a copy of the Annual 
Address before the Clinton (Massachusetts) Historical Society, 
by Jonathan Smith, the President of the Society, delivered 
September 14, 1903, entitled " Some Features of Shays's Re- 
bellion." I regard this as a valuable and suggestive contribu- 
tion to Massachusetts historical lore. More than one account 
of Shays's Rebellion has been written, especially that by Minot. 
But in all these accounts, so far as I know, that episode has 
been treated in the most superficial manner. No attempt has 
been made to go below the surface, and show what were the 
causes of the great unrest which then prevailed. The subject 
has been somewhat dealt with by our associate, Mr. Noble, 
and the material he found in the Suffolk County Court Rec- 
ords bearing upon the underlying causes of the uprising was 
developed in a paper read before the American Antiquarian 
Society at its October meeting, 1902, and printed in Vol. XV. 
of the New Series of the publications of that society. I chanced 
to be present at the meeting in question, and then ventured 
some remarks in connection with Mr. Noble's paper. To those 
remarks I would now refer. 1 I again had occasion to touch 
upon this matter in a note to the Newburyport diary of John 
Quincy Adams, 2 in which more than one reference appears to 
Shays and his followers. I then called attention to the ex- 

1 Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, at the annual meeting 
held in Worcester, October 21, 1902, New Series, vol. xv. pp. 114-120. 

2 2 Proceedings (November, 1902), vol. xvi. p. 342 n. 



1905.] REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT. 277 

treme popular odium into which the legal profession had fallen 
in connection with the great distress which prevailed through- 
out Massachusetts and New England as a consequence of the 
War of Independence. Mr. Smith, in the pamphlet a copy of 
which I now submit, takes, as the result of a very thorough 
investigation of the court records, etc., the view of Shays's 
insurrection which I believe to be the correct one. I wish to 
call attention to his paper as of real historical value. 

The third of these pamphlets is one by Robert Bingham, 
master of the Bingham School, Ashville, North Carolina, en- 
titled " Sectional Misunderstandings," being a reprint of an 
article in the " North American Review" for September, 1904, 
with material added. 

This pamphlet also has, in my judgment, a distinct and per- 
manent historical value. The Society may remember that, 
two years ago, at the February meeting, I submitted, with 
some preliminary remarks, a copy of an address I had recently- 
delivered before the New England Society of Charleston, 
South Carolina, entitled " The Constitutional Ethics of Seces- 
sion." x In a note to this address I called attention to the fact 
that the right of secession had been clearly set forth by Wil- 
liam Rawle, in his publication (1825) entitled " View of the 
Constitution." 2 This treatise was a text-book used at West 
Point Military Academy at the time Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. 
Johnston, and other Confederate leaders were cadets there. 
The fact that it was so used, asserted by me, is now clearly 
established by Mr. Bingham. The genesis of the opposite 
theory — that is, the contention of our associate, Governor 
Chamberlain, 3 that the constitutional right of secession not 
only never existed, but was never claimed to exist until a 
comparatively recent period — is still worthy of study. There 
can be no doubt that the power of practical nullification was 
claimed by Mr. Webster as late as 1813. 4 There is equally no 
doubt that the right of any State to secede from the Union was 
asserted as a matter that did not admit of denial by William 
Rawle in 1825. The right of nullification, as we all know, 
was subsequently not only claimed, but put in practice by 

1 2 Proceedings, vol. xvii. pp. 90-116. 

2 Ibid., p. 106. 

3 Ibid., vol. xvi. pp. 151-173. 

4 Ibid., vol. xvii. p. Ill n. ; Van Tyne, The Letters of Daniel Webster, p. 67. 



278 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

South Carolina in November, 1832. The counter doctrine 
found its first emphatic expression in Webster's reply to Hayne, 
made in 1830 ; and, finally, was elaborated by Story in his 
" Commentaries on the Constitution," published in 1833. The 
position taken by Rawle was therein specifically and emphati- 
cally controverted, and the more recent constitutional view of 
Webster developed. Nevertheless, some days since, in re- 
reading Mr. Morley's " Life of Cobden," I came across this 
very interesting extract from a letter of Richard Cobden's to 
W. Hargreaves, Esq., under date of June 22, 1861, the first 
summer of our Civil War. It is entitled "Tocqueville on the 
Right of Secession," and reads as follows : — 

" I am glad to see that as yet there is no serious fighting in America. 
Until there has been a bloody collision, one may hope there will be 
none. I have been reading Tocqueville's ' Democracy in America.' 
In his chapter on the influence of slavery his sagacity is, as it frequently 
is, quite prophetic. He seems to regard it as the chief danger to the 
Union, less from the rival interests it creates, than from the incompati- 
bility of manners which it produces. It is singular, too, that he takes 
the Southern view of the right of secession. He says, i The Union 
was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States ; and in uniting 
together they have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been 
reduced to one and the same people. If one of the States chose to 
withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove 
its right of doing so ; and the Federal Government would have no 
means of maintaining its claims either by force or by right.' He then 
goes on to argue that among the States united by the Federal tie there 
may be some which have a great interest in maintaining the Union on 
which their prosperity depends ; and he then remarks — ' Great things 
may then be done in the name of the Federal Government, but in 
reality that Government will have ceased to exist.' Has he not accu- 
rately anticipated both the fact and the motive of the present attitude 
of the State of New York ? Is it not commercial gain and mercantile 
ascendency which prompt their warlike zeal for the Federal Govern- 
ment ? At all events, it is a little unreasonable in the New York 
politicians to require us to treat the South as rebels, in the face of the 
opinion of our highest European authority as to the right of secession." * 

It is perfectly true that neither Tocqueville nor Cobden 
was an authority on questions of law, or construction, arising 
under the Constitution of the United States. Nevertheless, 

1 Morley, Life of Richard Cobden (ed. 1881), vol. ii. pp. 385, 386. 



1905.] THE OUTLOOK IN IIISTORY. 279 

Tocqueville unquestionably was an authority of the first order 
as respects any general understanding as to the construction 
of that Constitution prevailing at the period he wrote. There- 
fore, when Tocqueville says, as he does in the extract I have 
quoted, that the Union was formed by voluntary agreement 
of the States, and that, in forming this agreement, they none 
of them forfeited their nationality, and that, if one of the 
States withdrew its name from the contract, it would be diffi- 
cult to disprove its right so to do, it is clear Tocqueville ex- 
pressed an opinion then generally entertained. Tocqueville, it 
will be remembered, wrote in 1835-40, several years after the 
Nullification Act of South Carolina, and after Story pub- 
lished his " Commentaries." The statement of so eminent a 
foreign authority on this extremely interesting point cannot 
well be ignored. He was a thoughtful and correct observer. 
I am glad to add this citation to those I collected and made 
part of my Charleston Address of 1903. 

Mr. William R. Thayer read the following paper : — 
The Outlook in History. 

What is History ? The thing we know ; the definition baf- 
fles us. But what is Truth — or Beauty — or Poetry? The 
wisest have not yet agreed on a formula for any one of 
them ; nor is this strange : for Poetry and Beauty, History 
and Truth, spring from the unfathomed sources of life, from 
the mystery which, although it be for each of us the only vital 
reality, eludes all our research. But as we manage to live 
without solving the riddle, — indeed, the acceptance of its in- 
solubility seems to be the only solution, — so we waive a final 
definition of History, and go on to consider some of its aspects. 

The present time is particularly favorable for a survey, 
because we have apparently reached a point where historians 
pursuing different aims are producing side by side, in mutual 
tolerance, if not in mutual respect. This is a hopeful sign. 
Progress requires variation ; orthodoxy leads to bigotry, per- 
secution, paralysis. 

The modern scientific method of studying history has now 
been practised in France, England, and America for more 
than a generation, and in Germany for two or three decades 
longer. It has passed beyond the tentative stage, survived 



280 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

ridicule and opposition, and risen to acknowledged supremacy. 
In its complete triumph there was danger that it might 
become a fetish. But now we begin to see that every method 
is merely a tool, and that the product of the tool depends on 
the skill of its user. No refinement of mechanism can take 
the place of human insight and character. The results of 
a victory won by an army equipped with rapid-fire, long-range 
guns may sink into insignificance compared with what Norman 
William's crossbows achieved at Hastings, or Washington's 
flintlocks won at Yorktown. So neither Justin Winsor nor 
Mandell Creighton, enjoying to the full the advantages of 
the modern method, ranks with Thucydides or Tacitus, or 
with many lesser men, who flourished in the " unscientific " 
ages. Something more than a system goes to the making of 
great histories. This recognition of personality as the corner- 
stone on which everything human rests is the beginning of 
wisdom. 

German historical students, under Ranke's lead, had firmly 
established themselves in the scientific method, when the general 
adoption of the doctrine of evolution forced historians every- 
where to take a new point of view. To trace causes and 
effects had long been their purpose ; now they saw that the 
principle of growth, or development, was itself the very rud- 
der of causation. They proceeded to rearrange their material, 
and to rewrite the story of every nation, institution, art, and 
science according to this principle. No other formula has been 
so fruitful, or so universally applicable; nor do we now see 
how it can be superseded. 

To historians especially, the doctrine of development came 
as a revelation, which made the work of their pre-Darwinian 
forerunners appear as obsolete as the ancient religions ap- 
peared to the first Christians. They felt the delight which 
thrills those who exercise a new faculty ; say, rather, the 
exaltation of those who dedicate themselves to a new cru- 
sade for Truth. As always happens in such cases, they 
strove by every means to magnify the difference between the 
New and the Old ; as if the New were wholly right, and the 
Old wholly wrong. This is a wise instinct ; for only when a 
novel doctrine or cult is pushed to its extreme can we measure 
its intrinsic value, and determine how much of its apparent 
strength is due to mere reaction or contrast. 



1905.] THE OUTLOOK IN HISTORY. 281 

We now look back on the products of forty years of the 
modern historical school. Comparing them with the great 
works of the past, two facts strike us at once : There has been 
a gain in method, and a loss in literary quality. The gain in 
method shows itself chiefly in accuracy and in a studied 
impartiality: the loss in literary quality can be verified by 
tasting an average historical monograph. The scientific his- 
torian had formerly the same feeling toward the literar}' histo- 
rian as the early Christians had toward the culture of Greece 
and Rome : believing that they themselves possessed the true 
gospel, they wished to show their orthodoxy by being as 
different as possible from the pagans. History had come to 
be regarded as literature, they would leave no room for doubt 
that they regarded it as science. In the scientific world the 
view prevailed — and it has not wholly disappeared — that 
to write intelligibly is suspicious, while to write " popularly " 
is suicidal ; and this, despite the fact that Darwin, Huxley, 
Tyndall, and Mill — the most illustrious men of science of 
their generation — had set a noble example in clear expression. 

Historical students shared this distrust of literary form, and 
as their investigations followed the scientific pattern, their 
reports naturally took the shape of the scientific treatise. 
Several causes have contributed to make the scientific treatise 
what it is. First of all, it is usually written by an investiga- 
tor or observer who has no aptitude for expression, — for the 
highest powers of observation do not necessarily go with even 
ordinary capacity for expression. Next, the immense num- 
bers of facts and processes discovered by Science during the 
past half-century have required the invention of thousands of 
new terms, until each science has a special dialect, which is 
often as hopeless for literary purposes as is algebraic notation. 
No wonder that men whose minds swarm with awkward 
vocabularies, — formed, by a cruel irony, from mongrel combi- 
nations of the most beautiful of languages (as if the Apollo 
Belvedere were ground into powder to make stucco), — no 
wonder that they distrust those who show ability to use the 
mother-tongue, which tends in a way to become foreign to 
them. Scientific men also scorned to suit their language to 
any persons except their fellow initiates, thereby illustrating 
that tendency to exclusiveness which appears in freemasonry, 
college secret societies, and sectarian mysteries. 



282 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

Nor must we overlook another very powerful influence. 
Throughout most of the nineteenth century the Germans set 
the standard of scholarship. The world has never seen other 
diggers so tireless, so patient, so zealous. They have made 
their minds, as instruments of observation, almost as precise 
and impersonal as a microscope. They accumulate facts by 
the million ; they would cross the ocean to certify a comma. 
Through their devotion to truth, through their rugged hon- 
esty, they have worthily represented the great German race, 
which lags, on the political side, so far behind its ideals. But 
to their scholarship, power of expression has been, it seems, 
denied. They have had to struggle against not only the dif- 
ficulties inherent in the creation of new sciences and in the 
accumulation of knowledge, but also against the refractoriness 
of their speech. If a language be the expression of a nation's 
habitual mental processes, German prose bears witness to a race 
which has had the habit of thinking widely and deeply, but not 
clearly. A German's statement may be compared to a charge 
of birdshot, which scatters, and in scattering may hit the tar- 
get, and much else besides ; while a Frenchman's statement, 
like the ball of the sharpshooter, goes straight to the bull's- 
eye. 

All these various influences — the scientific method, literary 
inexperience, contempt for unprofessional criticism, devotion 
to the new gospel, and zealous imitation of the German model 
— helped to establish the idea that history must be unliterary 
if it would guard its reputation for authority. The German 
practice of publishing doctors' dissertations contributed fur- 
ther to encourage the belief that historical composition meant 
merely the pitchforking together of the results of special 
investigation. These results were often valuable, but who 
could expect that young men of twenty-four or twenty-five, 
who had given little or no heed to the manner of presentation, 
should write well? And having found that that sort of thing 
sufficed, they naturally were at no pains to improve on it in 
their later work. Nothing is more dangerous for a young 
man of ability than to suppose that the standard by which he 
wins his first academic success is final. For a good many 
years, much of the historical work produced in England and 
America smacked of the average doctor's dissertation. Since 
the study and writing of history seem to be coming more and 



1905.] THE OUTLOOK IN HJSTOTIY. 283 

more to be restricted to university teachers, it is most impor- 
tant that they should look jealously to the manner as well 
as to the matter of their candidates' work: for in fifteen or 
twenty years these candidates will themselves be the arbiters 
of historic production. 

The opinion which many upheld that history is a science 
increased their desire to make it resemble the sciences in 
all respects. The question, Is history a science ? round 
which much controversy has raged, is not } T et settled ; but 
it apparently has reduced itself to a dispute over terms. 
The confusion arises from assuming that a subject becomes 
a science when it is studied by the scientific method. But 
before history can be a science, men must possess the gift of 
prophecy. Your chemist or physicist deals with forces and 
elements which are absolutely determinable at all times and 
places and under all conditions. Water will be composed 
of two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen until the 
earth drops into the sun. But the historian has to do with 
a chain of causation in which the chief elements — the human 
Will and Chance — are absolutely incomputable. Will re- 
mains a mystery. We cannot predict when it will manifest 
itself in individuals or in multitudes, nor can we set any limits 
to its activity. And so with Chance. After the event, it 
may be possible to trace the steps that led to it, but until it 
happens, no one suspects that it is near. Five minutes before 
Lincoln was shot, who dreamt of the calamity which was 
to shatter Reconstruction and alter the course of American 
history ? Cavour dies, after a brief illness, and the unification 
of Italy is permanently turned awry. Thus Chance mocks us. 

Our knowledge of all past history does not enable us to fore- 
see what to-morrow will bring forth. We can generalize ; and 
many a historian mistakes his generalizations for laws, but they 
may fit no special event. Now the special events, due to the 
human Will or to Chance, make up history. Although you 
may have studied every recorded revolution, yet you cannot 
foretell what peculiar turn the next outbreak in Paris may take 
from hour to hour : for you cannot know beforehand how the 
persons concerned in any affair may react on each other or on 
the masses ; much less can you predict what Chance may bring 
about. It would be idle to call arithmetic a science if twice 
two were three yesterday, four to-day, and possibly five or 



284 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

seven to-morrow. Yet similar variations are the staple of his- 
tory. In human affairs, not less than in chemistry, given con- 
ditions would produce similar results, if you could get exactly 
the same personal ingredients. But this is impossible. Sup- 
pose Mirabeau had not died in 1791, — suppose Robespierre 
had been assassinated in 1792, — suppose a stray bullet had 
killed young Bonaparte at Toulon, — how would the course of 
events have been changed ! Yet if the study of history were 
a science, it would convince us that Mirabeau's death was 
inevitable, and that Robespierre and Bonaparte in the very 
nature of things could not die in 1792. Manifestly, historians 
would be clairvoyants, as familiar with the future as with the 
past, the chosen confidants of Fate or Providence, if they could 
make any such assertions. We can say that Bonaparte did 
not die in 1792, but to affirm that he could not possibly have 
died would be absurd. Yet until history can demonstrate 
the possible as clearly as the actual, it will never be a valid 
science. 

This does not, however, diminish its supreme importance, 
nor dull its interest ; on the contrary, the uncertainty en- 
hances both. We are not to infer that life is lawless, because 
we lack the gift of prophecy. Will, too, has its laws, although 
we cannot codify them. The historian's business is to trace 
the sequence of cause and effect so that every event, every 
deed, shall appear inevitable. If he succeed in doing that, he 
should rest content, and let teleology alone. 

Were it not for Will, with its incomputable variations, 
mankind would be a sentient machine, and history would 
simply register the motions of automata. The consciousness 
of moral freedom alone gives dignity, charm, and significance 
to life. Although the fatalist may argue that this conscious- 
ness is a delusion we are fated to be the dupes of, the practical 
man will accept at its full value the most genuine of his 
experiences. Accordingly, the historian must write as if he 
were an eyewitness of the events he describes, so as to 
reproduce the plasticity, the uncertainty, the impression of 
a state of flux, which belong to the passing moment. Like 
the dramatist, he knows from the first scene the catastrophe 
of the last, but, instead of telling the secret, he lets the plot 
unfold itself, as if it were being lived out by the persons in 
the play. This quality, one of the rarest, if it be not the 



1905.] THE OUTLOOK IN HISTORY. 285 

very crown, of the historian's equipment, gives not merely 
the certitude of veracity, but of lifelikeness, which is the 
final test in reconstructing the past. 

So far as the historian treats his subject in this fashion, he 
allows full scope to the free play of will; yet, as he really is 
not a contemporary, but a retrospective observer, he can also 
trace each link in the chain of causation and show its fatal or 
inevitable nature. In other words, he treats the Past as if it 
were Present, in his efforts to bring it to life, and he treats it 
as Past, in his efforts to rationalize and interpret it. So he is 
at once a Dramatist and a Philosopher. Needless to say, few 
historians possess these gifts in equal proportion, while many 
rouse in us the suspicion that they have never conceived of 
the Past as having been once Present and alive. They regard 
human beings as abstractions, or as dummies on which to 
drape their theories. In striving to eliminate the personal 
equation, which has an inconvenient habit of upsetting theo- 
ries, they become impersonal : but as Personality is the very 
stuff out of which human life and history are made, the more 
they get rid of it, the farther they remove from reality. In a 
perfect history we should have, as in Hamlet or Othello, the 
motives, the strokes of chance, and the resultant action, so 
revealed that one might read it for its plot, another for its 
information, a third for its philosophical bearing : for it would 
mirror the universality of human experience. 

An immediate result of the acceptance of evolution was the 
spread of fatalism. Science could finally demonstrate that 
rigid laws govern the material universe, including the bodies 
of men. By implication, man's will and spirit were equally 
fate-bound. Historians, imbued with this conviction, natur- 
ally ignored the individual, and devoted themselves to tracing 
the operation of laws in the development of nations and insti- 
tutions. Great men seemed to them " negligible " quantities. 
Slowly, however, a change has come about. Recognition of 
the omnipresence of law has not lessened, but there has grown 
up what I may call a common-sense view of human freedom. 
The will is recognized as a force so mysterious and unpredict- 
able that, though it doubtless obeys laws which we have not 
yet defined, still, for practical purposes, we must regard it as 
free. So Personality is coming again into the foreground of 
history. This involves a radical change in treatment, for per- 



286 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

sons have to be described as alive and concrete, with individual 
flavor and surprises, and not as abstract and mechanical. 

By another natural process, history has come back to litera- 
ture. The assumption that the historical monograph, being 
a "scientific " product, might be put together regardless of 
form, has been fully tested, and has broken down. The 
analogy between the historical and the scientific monograph 
proves to be illusory. The biologist, or other pure scientist, 
must use the dialect of his science in order to be understood 
by his special tribe : nay, he may dispense with language alto- 
gether, and employ diagrams, symbols, and formulas. But 
the historian's theme is intensely human, and demands to be 
expressed in human terms. He is concerned with narration, 
exposition, description, argument, all of which are governed 
by literary laws to which he must conform. He may protest 
that he is " scientific," and refuse to be bound by the canons 
of literature, but he might as well refuse to be bound by the 
law of gravity ; willy-nilly, he must master the art of literary ex- 
pression if he would make his historical attainments effective. 

In the first flush of the scientific dispensation, workers in 
every branch of history seemed equally inspired ; and of a 
truth, their labors were equally useful. But gradually they 
have classified themselves according to the nature of their 
work and the talents required for it, — in one class the Men 
of the Letter, in the other the Men of the Spirit. The mas- 
ter is always a revealer of significances : facts are not ideas. 
During the mid-period, when they seemed to be on the same 
level, there were inevitable misunderstandings : the man who 
dumped an immense amount of original research into an un- 
readable monograph felt aggrieved that the books of Fiske and 
Green had a large sale, while some " literary " historians, on 
the other hand, did scant justice to the patience and devotion 
of the del vers. Now, happily, as all realize that they are not 
competitors and that the work of each is honorable and neces- 
sary, the sense of unjust distinctions is dying out. But the 
Men of the Letter always far outnumber the Men of the 
Spirit, and there is ever present the danger that they will force 
their methods and their standards on the Men of the Spirit. 
So, to-day, Philology smothers Literature. 

It does not follow that all historical works should be com- 
posed after a single plan. There are episodes which call for 



1905.] THE OUTLOOK IN HISTORY. 287 

special treatment, aspects which require that attention should 
be focused on them, to the exclusion of a complete or general 
survey. The immense expansion of knowledge in modern 
times has provided History with material as abundant as life 
itself. One science after another has encroached on its domain 
and tried to usurp its sovereign rights. Political Economy, 
Government, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, Comparative 
Religion, has each insisted that it alone can interpret the evo- 
lution of nations and of mankind, because, it pleads, the spring 
of human action lies in its field. The economist sees taxation 
and the supply and demand of commodities dominating men's 
collective action ; the sociologist shows that the relations be- 
tween classes and between capital and labor are of vital im- 
portance : and so with each specialist. But History lias not 
been dethroned : far from it : the abler the attempt of the 
specialist to prove that his science includes History, the clearer 
the conclusion that History cannot be thus hemmed in. But 
all these efforts, and the flood of new knowledge which has 
been pouring in from every side during the past half-century, 
have immensely enriched the province of History. The his- 
torian can never know too much of any of these or other 
sciences. He will often appeal to them to explain special 
events : but he must beware against surrendering his human 
point of view for that of any specialist. Whatever branch of 
his art he may practise, let him never forget to be human. 

By these stages historical study has risen above polemics 
and technicalities. We seem to be approaching the happy 
moment when historical writers are to enjoy the fullest free- 
dom. They have at command inexhaustible stores of material. 
As the gathering and sorting of documents draw to com- 
pletion, the demand increases for those who can write ; and, 
since absolutely no period or episode has been exhausted, his- 
torians have a limitless field to work in. There is a recognized 
division of labor among them. They need no longer waste 
time trying to persuade a doubting generation that the scien- 
tific method is the best, or that, since the life of individuals, 
nations, society, and the human race is a development, so the 
historian must be an evolutionist: everybody now assents to 
both propositions. What the world now awaits is results. 
For, after all, the world, which bothers itself very little about 
abstruse theories, judges by the concrete product. 



288 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn said he had a brief communica- 
tion to make concerning two practising physicians in Massa- 
chusetts and New Hampshire in the early colonial period, who 
had been rather overlooked by the writers on medical practice 
in New England in the seventeenth century, — Dr. Henry 
Greenland and Dr. Walter Barefoot. But before stating their 
case, he would remark, in regard to the French " American 
Farmer " St. John de Crevecceur, briefly mentioned in a former 
meeting, that he had been indirectly put in communication 
with one of his descendants, the only representative of the 
family now in France, and the son of St. John's biographer, 
Robert St. John de Crevecceur. From this source he ex- 
pected to receive for the Society a copy of the " American 
Farmer's" biography, and perhaps some of the inedited manu- 
scripts in possession of the family in Paris. Mr. Sanborn then 
said : — 

Henry Greenland," chirurgeon," first appeared in Massachu- 
setts early in 1662, establishing himself in practice at Newbury, 
and very near the Merrimac River, in what is now Newbury- 
port. Upon inquiry by the town officers, he stated that he 
had come there in order to be near his intimate friend, 
Dr. Walter Barefoot, then in medical practice at Dover, New 
Hampshire, and along the banks of the Pascataqua ; that his wife 
Mary would come over from England later (as she did), and that 
he would temporarily make Newbury his New England home. 
He did so until 1666, or thereabout, when he removed to 
Kittery in Maine, then seeking, by the aid of Charles Second's 
commissioners, Carr, Cartwright, Maverick, and Nichols, to 
become a Province independent of Massachusetts, which 
claimed jurisdiction. In the previous year he was the subject 
of a singular agreement made by three of these commissioners, 
July 17-24, 1665, at Portsmouth, quoted in my History of 
New Hampshire, p. 72, and running thus : — 

" We do hereby testify that we do freely forgive Mr. Richard Cutt 
of Portsmouth, concerning any injury which he might be supposed to 
have done us by some words which he was accused to have spoken 
against the King's Commissioners (about having a dagger put into their 
bellies or guts) or words to the like purpose. And if the said Cutt 
never molest Thomas Wiggin of Dover, or Dr. Greenland of Newbury, 
for giving in evidence against him, or for reporting him to be the 



1905.] DR. BAREFOOT AND DR. GREENLAND. 289 

author of such words, we promise Dever to produce those writings and 
evidences which they have sworn before us, to his hurt or damage." 

This Thomas Wiggin was the brother-in-law of Walter 
Barefoot, having married Sarah, his sister, from whom were 
descended the Masons who, in the eighteenth century, sold the 
claim of their family to the whole unoccupied lands of that 
Province ; and also, in the nineteenth century, those Havens 
of Portsmouth, who in several ways distinguished themselves. 
Dr. Greenland was the intimate friend of Barefoot, and was 
associated with him in purchases and sales of land at Kittery, 
as well as in political opposition to the rule of the Puritans in 
Maine and New Hampshire ; and five years later (1670) 
Greenland was charged with a very wicked attempt to bring 
his enemy, the wealthy Richard Cutt, to condign punishment 
in England for treason. In 1665 one of the three Commis- 
sioners wrote to England that the two Portsmouth brothers, 
John and Richard Cutt, " are thought to be worth no less than 
50,000 pounds sterling; there is not one man in ten there but 
what are constantly in their debts." Bearing this opinion of 
their riches in mind, this evidence of Robert Gardner, taken 
before John Hunking at the Isles of Shoals, where an armed 
English vessel, the " Mermaiden," was then lying at hull, 
becomes important : — 

" That Mr. Henry Greenland said unto him, the said Gardner, that 
he would put our ship's company upon a brave purchase ; which should 
be by seizing on the person of Mr. Richard Cutt, and to carry him for 
England ; and that it would be effected with a great deal of ease, by 
carrying the ship to Pascataway ; and that a small number of our men 
might go and take himself, and cause him and his servants to carry 
down on their backs such money and goods as was there to be found. 
And he was sure the purchase would be worth ten thousand pounds ; 
and he would maintain the doing thereof in point of law ; for that the 
said Cutt had spoken treason against the king." (Court Records, 
May 27, 1670.) 

Upon receiving information of this plot, Captain George 
Fountaine, of the " Mermaiden," wrote at once to Mr. Cutt, 
(May 28, 1670) : — 

Although unacquainted, I do kindly salute you. My present occa- 
sion of writing concerns so much your safety and my honor that I can- 
not delay any time to advise you thereof. For about five days past 

37 



290 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

there came on board of me one of your neighbors, by name Henry 
Greenland, who pretended some former acquaintance with some of my 
men, specially with one Gardner, whom he hath employed to speak to 
me concerning an unworthy design, as per the enclosed deposition you 
may know. But I would first tell you and the Country I would scorn 
to embrace or give ear to any such heinous intents ; but in all respects 
to the utmost of my power, am ready to serve you and the rest of them. 
Had I been but sure that the law of the Couutry would excuse me, I 
would, in half an hour, hang the unworthy man that would fain, by 
promise of getting great purchase, corrupt me to my countrymen's 
harm, — which I will never do. What I have at present sent is desir- 
ing you to use your own will in following the law on this man : and 
maybe for your further safety. Pray let me hear from you by the 1st. 
My love to Major Shapleigh, Mr. Fryar and yourself. 
Your faithful friend to command, 

George Fountaine. 

No criminal proceedings seem to have been instituted 
against Dr. Greenland at the time, but two years later (June, 
1672), the General Court of Massachusetts issued this 
order : — 

" Henry Greenland appearing before this Court, and being legally 
convicted of many high misdemeanors, i. e. endeavoring to disturb his 
Majesty's government here settled, reviling the courts of justice and the 
magistrates in base and unworthy terms, and making quarrels and con- 
tentions among the people in a very perfidious manner, with profane 
cursing and swearing ; is sentenced to pay a fine of Twenty Pounds in 
money, and to depart the limits of this jurisdiction within two months 
next coming, and not to return again without the license of the General 
Court or Council : On penalty of being severely whipt 30 stripes, and 
to pay a fine of 100 Pounds: and not to be admitted hereafter to be a 
surety or attorney in any legal process ; and stand committed until the 
fine of Twenty Pounds be satisfied." 

The execution of this sentence was deferred until the next 
year, when Greenland with his wife Mary and his children 
departed for New Pascataway in New Jersey, — a plantation to 
which several of the residents along the New Hampshire 
Pascataqua and its branches had gone, and where he remained 
the rest of his life, so far as we know. There he became a 
prominent citizen and landholder, at whose house important 
meetings were held, and there he bore the titles of Captain 
and Justice of the Peace, as well as of Doctor, though it does 
not appear that he practised medicine there. He had prac- 



1905.] DR. GREENLAND AT NEWBURYrORT. 291 

tised for nearly four years in Newbury, where, according to 
Mr. J. J. Currier, in his recent u History of Newbury," he 
owned house and land on the southwest corner of Ord way's 
Lane, now Market Street, and " the way by the River,'' now 
Merrimac Street. This he sold January 12, 1666, and soon 
after removed to " Pascataway," now called Kittery, where he 
soon became a land-speculator and ship-owner, in partnership 
with Barefoot, who by that time had come down the river 
from Dover and lived sometimes in Kittery, sometimes at 
Great Island (now New Castle). 

In Newbury, March, 1663, his landlord, John Emery, was 
fined for entertaining "Dr. Henry Greenland, a stranger, not 
having a legal residence in Newbury." This fine was remitted 
upon the petition of the selectmen and chief people of New- 
bury, " considering the usefulness of Mr. Greenland, in respect 
of his practice in our town." It was also stated by them, 
" That he was, by reason of his acquaintance with Capt. Bare- 
foot, etc. inclinable to settle in the Country if he liked, and to 
make use of his practice of physic and chirurgery amongst us. 
But being as yet unsettled, and uncertain where to fix, until 
his wife, whom he hath sent for, did come, he was necessarily 
put upon it to reside near such patients as had put themselves 
into his hands for cure." It was at Newbury that some Puri- 
tan, shocked at Greenland's levity, reported that one night 
sitting at John Emery's inn-table, even before the long grace 
before meat was ended, he put on his hat and began to eat, 
saying, " Come, Landlord, — light supper, short grace." This 
jocose mood, together with other habits, brought him into 
quarrels; and in September, 1664, together with his friend 
Barefoot, he was convicted of an assault on William Thomas 
and Richard Dole, in a tavern at Newbury, — probably John 
Emery's. 

Walter Barefoot, who seems to have been great-grandson of 
a famous Puritan minister in England, Ezekiel Culverwell, first 
appears in New England in May and June, 1657, as receiving 
assignment from James Chanceller, chirurgeon, and Robert 
Greenill, able seaman, of two tickets each for their wages in 
Cromwell's navy, — GreeniU's as seaman and cook from Sep- 
tember 1, 1654, to June 10, 1655, and Chanceller's as surgeon's 
mate and surgeon from September 17, 1655, to May 13, 1657. 
Possibly Barefoot came over in one of the vessels named (the 



292 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

" Golden Falcon "), and that he also was a surgeon in the navy. 
The same may be true of Greenland; and this would account 
for their considerable medical knowledge, so evidently above 
the standard of New England at that time. Barefoot resided 
in Kittery awhile from the date named, and, November 16, 
1658, he advanced to Captain Francis Champernown, a large 
landholder there, £130 sterling, and received from him a deed 
for five hundred acres of land and a house in Kittery. In this 
deed, and in a bond of August, 1660, Barefoot is styled " Cap- 
tain," and in the bond, " of New England, merchant," — the 
giver of the bond being a Barbados merchant, Thomas Lang- 
ley. August 6, 1661, Barefoot sold a house with thirty acres 
of land by the seaside in Kittery to S. Harbert, tailor, and soon 
after became a landholder and physician in Dover, New Hamp- 
shire. After Greenland's arrival at Kittery, in 1666, Barefoot 
bought of him one thousand acres on Spruce Creek, and about 
the same time two hundred acres near Champernown's Island, 
adjoining his earlier five hundred acres, which he bought of 
Colonel John Archdale, afterwards Governor of South Caro- 
lina, and a Quaker. In 1687, when Sir Edmund Andros, a 
political friend of Barefoot and Greenland, was about to con- 
firm Barefoot's title to the thousand acres bought of Green- 
land, certain occupants of the Spruce Creek lands, — John 
Shapleigh, Enoch Hutchins, and others, declared to Andros 
by petition : — 

" We your petitioners have purchased several parcels of land lying 
in Spruce Creek, at a place called Mill Creek in Kittery, containing 
near or about 1000 acres, and have possessed the same for a very con- 
siderable time, and have been at a vast charge and expense, and most 
spent their time and labor to improve the same, for their and the Coun- 
try's benefit: whereas Capt. Walter Barefoot never made any im- 
provement on the same, neither did he ever make any claim, as your 
petitioners ever heard of, till now; neither ever disturb or molest them 
in the possession and improvement of any part thereof." 

It is probable that Greenland had bought under a dubious 
title, from the heirs either of Mason or Gorges, the original 
grantees of all that region; and that Barefoot, finding the title 
in dispute, bequeathed it to Greenland, in his will of October 
3, 1688, to avoid perplexing his other heirs ; for in that will he 
said : — 



1905.] DR. GREENLAND IN NEW JERSEY. 293 

"My land at Spruce Creek, 1,000 acres, which I purchased of Dr. 
Henry Greenland, I devise to the said Henry Greenlaud." 

It does not appear that this New Jersey heir ever laid claim 
to it; and the expulsion of Andros in 1689 probably prevented 
any adjudication in favor of his partisans. A descendant of 
Greenland, Mr. F. C. Cochran, of Ithaca, New York, now writes 
me that his ancestor, after leaving Maine in 1673, continued to 
live at Pascataway, New Jersey, until his death sometime in 
1695. By his will written in 1694, he left property to two 
children, Henry and Frances, — the latter marrying Daniel 
Brinson, of Pascataway, October 8, 1681. She must therefore 
have been born as early as 1663, and perhaps before Mary 
Greenland left England. A second daughter, married to Cor- 
nelius Langfield, seems to have died before her father, as also 
did her mother, who was living in 1684. The son of Frances 
and Daniel Brinson was named Barefoot Brinson, in honor of 
Dr. Walter, and became high sheriff of Middlesex County, 
New Jersey. A descendant afterwards married into the 
English Penn family. 

New Jersey proved to be as full of the fractious as Massa- 
chusetts had been, or New Hampshire ; but Captain-Doctor 
Greenland came out " on top" this time. In November, 1681, 
during a dispute between Governor Carteret and the Council 
on one side, and the house of deputies on the other, " came in 
person to the house of deputies Capt. James Bollen, Capt. 
Henry Greenland, and Mr. Samuel Edsall ; and . . . immedi- 
ately declared that this pretended house of deputies be dis- 
solved, and you are hereby dissolved," — the Doctor-Captain 
looking on and approving. Five years later, 1686, he recorded 
as magistrate a bond to stand by the agreement and decision 
of arbitrators in fixing a border line. So Greenland appears 
to have stood in honor during his latest years; while his 
and Barefoot's former friend in Massachusetts, Edward Ran- 
dolph, was always censuring and quarrelling with the Jersey 
government. 

It is likely, in view of the facts now stated, that the disfavor 
into which Dr. Greenland fell in Massachusetts was due to 
political animosities, arising partly out of the controvers}' over 
land-titles in Maine and New Hampshire, and partly out of the 
religious strife between the Puritans, the Church of England 



294 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

men, and the Quakers. Barefoot never became a Quaker ; 
but both he and his sister, Mrs. Sarah (Barefoot) Wiggin, of 
Dover and Stratham, were stanch supporters of the Anglican 
church, though Puritans by descent; and Greenland, very 
likely, like Major Shapleigh of Kittery, Colonel Archdale, 
Ralph Earle,and others bearing military titles in New England, 
became a Quaker after his banishment. The setting free of 
the Quaker women at Salisbury and Newburyport, while being 
whipped from Dover to Providence, in 1662, at the order of 
Major Waldron of Dover, was the work of Barefoot and Major, 
or Captain, Pike ; but Greenland and his friend and host, 
Emery, probably assisted in it. The life of the Greenland 
family, after leaving Maine, has been historically unknown 
hitherto, but it appears to have been respectable, and probably 
both they and the Barefoots were better people than the Puri- 
tans thought them. 

It seems, by Mr. Cochran's researches, that Ezekiel Culver- 
well, of a celebrated Puritan family, married in 1598, in 
London (at the age of forty-four, and a widower with chil- 
dren), Mrs. Edward Barefoot, a widow, whose maiden name 
was Winifred Hildersham, and who had lived at Hatfield 
Broadoak, in Essex, before her marriage to Edward Barefoot, 
of Lamborne, in Essex, the seat of the Barfoots or Barefoots for 
a century or two. She was the half-sister, through her father, 
Thomas, and his wife, Frances Bladwell, of Rev. Arthur Hil- 
dersham, who in 1592 married Anne Barfoot, of Lamborne Hall, 
daughter of John Barfoot, and sister of Edward. This whole 
connection was stoutly Puritan, — Rev. Ezekiel Culverwell 
having a brother, Samuel, a famous preacher, and two sisters, 
one of whom married Laurence Chaderton, master of Emman- 
uel College, and the other married William Whitaker, master 
of St. John's College, Cambridge. From such a nest of Puri- 
tans came forth that odium of the New England Puritans, 
Walter Barefoot, — and possibly Henry Greenland, also, in 
whose family appears a Katharine, perhaps descended from 
Mrs. Katharine Barfoot, of Lamborn Hall, in the reign of 
Henry VIII. Ezekiel Culverwell's daughter, Sarah, married 
Thomas Barefoot, son of Edward, of Lamborn (born in 1586), 
and their son, John, seems to have been the father of Walter 
and Sarah, of New England. If so, Arthur Hildersham, an 
obstinate and imprisoned Puritan, was their great-uncle. 






1905.] LATEST AND EARLIEST TOWN VIEWS. 295 

Mr. James F. Hunnewell presented the following paper: 
Latest and Earliest Town Views. 

Let me present to the Society five views in Boston that are 
of interest and that should be in its collections. 

Three of the views, on a fairly large scale, are photographs 
of the Harvard (Unitarian) Church in Charlestown, built in 
1818, and now being much changed for business use. Here 
the Rev. Dr. George E. Ellis, formerly President of this 
Society, was minister from March 11, 1840, to June 13, 1869. 
An interior view shows an alcove and the pulpit as they were 
during the latter part of his ministry, and, at the left, the posi- 
tion of a wall-monument to his predecessor, the Rev. Dr. 
James Walker, who became President of Harvard. One ex- 
terior view shows the front and tower, of red brick, and the 
wooden gray steeple, the whole one of the best designs in its 
style in this region. 

Another view, taken from Green Street, shows a curious 
and very uncommon feature, — that there were for the last 
half-century two steeples, one inside of the other. The frame, 
partly stripped, shows the outline of the steeple seen during 
that period ; within it is seen the tip of the original steeple, 
short, round, and small, known by Dr. Ellis during the earlier 
part of his ministry. It was thought that an improvement 
could be made, and the newer steeple was built without dis- 
turbing the original. At the right, I may add, are three of 
the old trees in my garden, under which I played when a boy, 
and to-day flourishing. 

The other two views are the fifth and sixth produced by 
the Iconographic Society, which is formed by ten members of 
the Club of Odd Volumes. These views complete the First 
Series of the former's publications. One of the views is of 
Faneuil Hall as it was in 1870; the other is of " The Old Cor- 
ner Bookstore " as it was in its older days and the time of its 
greatest glory, in 1850. Both views are finely engraved by 
S. L. Smith, and the impressions are limited to 73 each, the 
plates being then destroyed, so that these engravings will 
remain not only among the finest ever made of Boston sub- 
jects, but also among the scarcest. All of these five views 
may even now be called scarce. 



296 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

While presenting some of the latest local views as now 
given by process or plate, — that is, in current styles, — let me 
show a few of the earliest town views ever made, and the 
great contrast. I had thought of a paper on what might be 
called Primitive Town Views, but it would, perhaps, be out 
of the range of subjects treated here. 

The earliest work giving such views on any great scale is 
a volume so large and heavy that I could hardly bring my 
copy here. It is, in sundry respects, one of the most remark- 
able volumes ever printed, and is now rarer than Eliot's Indian 
Bible, and is, it may be said, the first illustrated Universal 
History, — the " Rudimentum Noviciorum," by the great pro- 
totypographer of northern Germany, Lucas Brandis, Lubeck, 
1475, and the first book there printed. Closely following it, 
was the " Fasciculus Temporum," a compendium of history 
from the Creation to the year of publication. 

Let me first show the edition by Peter Drach, Speyer, 1477, 
giving views of Rome, Syracuse, and other cities among the 
earliest ever printed. Next, let me show the edition by Er- 
hard Rodolt, Venice, 1481. On the verso of leaf 37 is a cut 
said to be " the first engraved view of Venice." The devel- 
opment from these beginnings to the plates by our Boston 
Iconographic Society, from the rudest to the finest, is worth 
observing. 

Furthermore, this work is of interest in a modern Historical 
Society and elsewhere, showing, as it does, the popularity of 
history at a very early date in the lifetime of printing. 

Within nine years, 1474 to 1483, there were at least ten 
editions, — seven of them in Latin, and one each in Dutch, 
German, and French, all in folio. The seven were by Ter- 
hoernen, Cologne, 1474 ; by Hoemborch, also there, 1476 ; by 
Veldener, Lou vain, 1476 ; by Drach, Speyer, 1477; by Rodolt, 
Venice, 1481 ; by Kunne, Memmingen, 1482, and (said to be 
the " earliest book printed in Spain " ) 1480. The others were, 
in German, by Richel, Basle, 1481 ; in Dutch, by Veldener, 
Utrecht, 1480 ; and as the " Petit fardelet des faits," Lyon, 
1483. Some things more than town views are shown by 
this list. Any historical work now published in as many 
places, countries, and languages within nine years would 
be considered a marked success, and to have interest and 
value. 



1905.] WASHINGTON OAK AT MOUNT VERNON. 297 

Hon. Samuel A. Green read the following paper : — 
Washington Oak at Mount Vernon. 

In a letter from Washington printed in the Boston Evening 
Transcript, April 14, 1905, is an account of the planting of an 
oak last year, in the lawn near the west terrace of the White 
House, by President Roosevelt, assisted by Secretary Hitch- 
cock, a member of his Cabinet. The letter goes on to say that 
the tree was a lineal descendant of a native American oak 
which overshadowed the tomb of Washington at Mount Vernon ; 
and that acorns from this oak were sent to the Czar of Russia 
by Charles Sumner, while Senator from Massachusetts. The 
account furthermore stated that Mr. Hitchcock, who had pre- 
viously been the American Ambassador at the Court of St. 
Petersburg, had picked up a handful of acorns which he found 
under the tree, and sent them home. 

From the seed then planted six or eight years ago there 
came up a few oak saplings, of which one was the tree set out 
in the grounds of the White House ; and another was placed 
near its grandparent at Mount Vernon. In the interest of 
historical truth, I took the liberty to call the attention of Sec- 
retary Hitchcock to the fact that it was George Sumner, a 
younger brother of Charles, and not the Senator, who had 
given the acorn to the emperor. George Sumner was a 
member of the Historical Society, and his memoir, printed in 
the Proceedings (XVIII. 189-223), gives many details con- 
nected with this interesting episode. The incident may seem 
too trivial for serious notice, but a memorial tree, if it is to have 
any meaning, should be deeply rooted in truth and accuracy. 

In answer to my letter Secretary Hitchcock sent me a cour- 
teous reply, which brings the history of the Russian tree down 
practically to the present time, as follows : — 

Secretary's Office, Department of the Interior, 
Washington, D. C, April 20, 1905. 

Samuel A. Green, Esq., 

Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society. 

My dear Sir, — I am this morning in receipt of yours of the 18th, 
and thank you for calling my attention to the letter printed in the 
Boston Transcript of April 14th, wherein it is stated, on my authority, 
that Charles Sumner, while Senator from Massachusetts, seut to the 
Czar of Russia some acorns taken from a tree shadowing the tomb of 

38 



298 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [May, 

Washington, which statement you correct by referring me to a full 
account of the occurrence to be found in the Proceedings of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, September, 1880 (XVIII. 194), for which 
I also thank you. 

In reply, I beg to say that I have obtained the volume above referred 
to, and have read with great interest the memoir of George Sumner, 
prepared by Mr. Robert C. Waterston, from which it would appear that 
the information heretofore given me to the effect that the acorns were 
sent by the late Hon. Charles Sumner to Russia was incorrect, but 
was deemed accurate by me in the absence of more detailed and specific 
information until the receipt of your letter this morning. 

As the incident referred to has found a place in the records of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, it may not be inappropriate to bring 
the story up to date. 

While Ambassador at the Court of St. Petersburg, I inquired as to 
the location of an Oak tree which I had been informed had grown from 
an acorn which the Hon. Charles Sumner, while Senator of the United 
States, had sent by his brother to His Imperial Majesty, the Czar, the 
acorns sent by Mr. Sumner having been taken from a massive Oak 
shading the tomb of Washington at Mount Vernon. 

The memoir of George Sumner, to which you have kindly referred 
me, now furnishes me, for the first time, with a correct statement of the 
incident, but I would correct one of its statements to the effect that this 
Oak was planted near the cottage of Peter the Great, whereas the acorn 
from which it grew was planted on what is known as " Czarina Island," 
which is included in the superb surroundings of one of the palaces of 
His Majesty, near Peterhof. Suspended from the tree is a brass tablet 
bearing a Russian inscription, the translation of which is as follows : — 

The acorn planted here was taken from an Oak which shades the tomb 
of the celebrated and never to be forgotten Washington ; is presented to 
His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, as a sign of the 
greatest respect. By an American. 

I was fortunate at the time of my visit, which was in the fall of 1898, 
in finding a number of acorns on the ground that had been dropped 
from this historic tree. Gathering a handful, I sent them home, and 
secured from the seed thus planted a few Oak saplings, two of which 
were sent here from St. Louis, in April, 1904, one of which was planted 
by President Roosevelt in the grounds of the White House near what is 
now the north gate of the eastern entrance opposite the Treasury build- 
ing, April 7, 1904, while the other was planted by myself under the 
shadow of its grandfather at Mount Vernon. Owing to climatic con- 
ditions at the time of the planting of these saplings, both the one 
planted by the President in the White House grounds and the other 
planted at Mount Vernon failed to live ; but on Friday last (April 14th) 



1905.] REMARKS BY MEMBERS. 299 

I received from my home at St. Louis another of these saplings, and 
on that date, planted it in the place of the one that had been planted 
by the President. Altogether, of the acorns sent from Russia, five 
sprouted and produced young Oak saplings. Two of them I had sent 
last year to my cottage at Dublin, New Hampshire, and I am pleased to 
say are growing nicely. One of these two, I will take to replace the 
one lost at Mount Vernon, and thus perpetuate, both here in Washing- 
ton, and at Mount Vernon, the historic association growing out of the 
Russian Oak of George Sumner which, as described in the memoir — 

was a gift, simple and natural, accompanied by no courtly parade, whose 
whole worth consisted in its association with the memory of Washington ; 

to which I might add : And was accepted by an Imperial Sovereign 
who, with his successors and people, have shown a friendship for our 
Government and its people which should never be forgotten. On page 
195 of the memoir, it is stated — 

The acorns had been carefully planted near the summer palace, while, 
as a mark of special consideration, a position had been selected for it on 
the grounds where still stands the cottage once occupied by Peter the Great, 
and where it would be watched over with constant care ; 

the actual fact being that the tree above referred to that grew from this 
acorn is on Czarina Island, as above stated, and is not anywhere near 
the cottage of Peter the Great, which is on the banks of the Neva di- 
rectly opposite the principal part of the City of St. Petersburg, and near 
the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. 

Yours very truly, 

E. A. Hitchcock. 

Other remarks were made during the meeting by Messrs. 
William R. Thayer, Edward H. Gilbert, Franklin B. 
Sanborn, Archibald Cary Coolidge, John D. Long, and 
Gamaliel Bradford. 



300 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [June, 



JUNE MEETING, 1905. 

The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 8th instant, 
at 12 o'clock, M. ; the President in the chair. 

After the reading of the record of the May meeting and of 
the list of donors to the Library, it was 

Voted, That the stated meetings for July, August, and 
September be omitted, the President and Recording Secretary 
to have authority to call a special meeting if necessary. 

The Librarian announced that, in accordance with a vote of 
the Council, and with the concurrence of the representatives 
of the late Thomas L. Winthrop, fourth President of the So- 
ciety, he had sold a copy of Audubon's " Birds of America,'' 
given to the Society many years ago by that gentleman. The 
proceeds of the sale — two thousand dollars — would form the 
nucleus of a fund the income of which would be used for 
the purchase of books more germane to the purposes of the 
Society, and the Librarian hoped that the interest would be 
added to the principal until the fund amounted to the sum of 
five thousand dollars or upward. 

The President read a communication from the executors of 
the will of our associate the late William S. Appleton, stating 
that under the terms of Mr. Appleton's will the Society would 
receive the large and important collection of coins and medals 
relating to the United States which had belonged to Mr. 
Appleton. 

The President then said : — 

The painful duty of announcing the loss of a Resident 
Member of the Society once more devolves upon me ; and on 
this occasion it is the loss of one bearing a name than which 
none is more closely, or indeed so closely, associated with either 
the Society or the Commonwealth. I have not examined the 
record to satisfy myself on that point, but I am under the 
impression that this is the first meeting, certainly for a century, 



1905.] DEATH OF ROBERT C. WINTHROP, JR. 301 

possibly since the organization of the Society, that the name 
of Winthrop has not been borne on its rolls. The last bearer 
of that name, Robert C. Winthrop, Jr., — as he elected still to 
be called, though his father, the first Robert C, died more 
than ten years ago, — passed away on the evening of Monday, 
the 5th instant, at his residence here in Boston. Though long 
in declining health, his death, due to heart failure as the im- 
mediate result of a surgical operation, was a surprise and a 
shock. His funeral is announced for to-morrow. Under the 
circumstances I shall confine myself to the usual announce- 
ment from the chair, leaving the customary characterization 
for a future occasion. 

Born in Boston, December 7, 1834, Mr. Winthrop was 
chosen a Resident Member May 8, 1879, and during the presi- 
dency of his father. At the time of his death his name stood, 
in order of seniority, eighteenth on our roll. For over twenty 
of the twenty-six years of his connection with the Society, 
Mr. Winthrop was one of the most active, interested, and 
influential of its members. More recently, owing to a marked 
tendency to seclusion, — due, as he claimed, to bodily infirmi- 
ties and especially to a growing imperfection of hearing, — he 
had ceased to attend our meetings, the last at which he was 
present, and in which he took characteristic part, having been 
that of February, 1901. Indeed, only on one other occasion, 
I believe (March, 1899), has he attended any meeting held in 
this building. We associate him mainly with our old Tremont 
Street home. There he rarely failed both to be present and to 
participate. 

His first committee service was in 1880, in connection with 
the Winthrop Papers, in the preparation and publication of 
which he took a natural and hereditary pride. The finances 
of the Society were at that time in a far from flourishing state, 
and it was Mr. Winthrop who quietly came forward and met 
the cost, some $1200, of printing the volume (Part IV.) pub- 
lished after he had been made a member of the committee. 
Subsequently, in 1889, 1892, and 1897, he served on the similar 
committees for the publication of Parts V. and VI. of the Win- 
throp Papers and of the volume of Bowdoin and Temple 
Papers. Between 1886 and 1898 his service on other com- 
mittees was almost continuous and never merely nominal. 
He was essentially a working member. For example, from 



302 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [June, 

April, 1886, to April, 1889, he was on the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Council ; in 1887, on a special committee to 
catalogue the Society's manuscripts ; in 1889, on the committee 
to nominate officers ; in 1896, on the committee to decide and 
act on the financial policy of the Society ; and, in 1898, on 
the Building Committee having charge of the work on this 
edifice. 

Passing to his communications and share in our proceedings, 
besides two lesser memoirs, that on R. M. Mason and that on 
David Sears, he prepared the more elaborate biography of the 
elder Robert C. Winthrop. This last, let me say in passing, 
was not only a most creditable piece of literary work, clone 
with much judgment and good taste, but it stands in lasting 
evidence of that abiding and admiring respect for his father 
which was in him so marked a characteristic. Besides the 
above, the list of Mr. Winthrop's miscellaneous formal contri- 
butions, some fifty in number, is too long for detailed enumer- 
ation ; suffice it to say, it includes many of the most valuable 
as well as entertaining papers read at our meetings between 
1880 and 1900. During those years no one was listened to 
with more instruction, certainly no one at times did so much 
to enliven a series of meetings not characterized, as a rule, by 
sallies of humor or aggressiveness of speech. Nor was his 
participation confined to formal papers; and the older mem- 
bers of the Society will bear me out in the statement that, 
when Mr. Winthrop took the floor, whatever degree of listless- 
ness might before have been apparent at once disappeared 
from our gatherings. All was alertness and attention. 

An accomplished host as well as a generous giver, to him 
we owe that most valuable double autograph of Govern- 
ors Bradford and Winthrop which ornaments our entrance 
chamber, one of the most precious of the Society's possessions; 
and on two occasions at least, the special meeting after the 
death of Charles Deane and the Annual Meeting of April, 
1898, he entertained the Society at his home. 

Altogether I may confidently assert that through a score of 
years no member of our organization was more constant in 
attendance, more fruitful in matter, more entertaining as well 
as instructive in his contributions, more generous in gift and 
more lavish in hospitality than was that friend and associate 
of fifty years whose death I to-day announce. 



1905.] PAPER BY THE PRESIDENT. 303 

The President also read an interesting and suggestive paper 
embodying " Some Notes made in Africa on the British Occu- 
pation of Egypt and the Soudan, and on the Status of the 
African in the Upper Nile Region," prefacing it with the remark 
that for obvious reasons, which would become apparent in the 
course of the reading, it was not desirable the paper should be 
printed in the Proceedings. 

This paper was followed by some brief extemporaneous 
remarks by Messrs. Gamaliel Bradford, Franklin B. 
Sanborn, and John D. Long. 

A new serial of the Proceedings, containing the record of 
the April and May meetings, was ready for delivery at this 
meeting; and it was stated that a new volume of the Collec- 
tions, comprising the third part of the Heath Papers, would be 
ready for distribution in the course of the month. 

After the adjournment the members and some invited 
guests were entertained at luncheon in the Ellis Hall by the 
President. 



304 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 



OCTOBER MEETING, 1905. 

The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 12th 
instant, at three o'clock, P. M. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the June meeting was read and approved ; 
and reports were received from the Librarian and the Cabinet- 
Keeper. Among the gifts to the Library were two volumes 
of autographs from the heirs-at-law of our late associate Henry 
W. Taft, of Pittsfield. The Cabinet-Keeper called attention 
to some interesting engravings presented by the family of the 
late William S. Appleton, and gave a preliminary account of 
the autographs, early newspapers, and relics bequeathed to the 
Society by the late Charles E. French, of Boston. 

The President reported from the Council two receipts and 
votes relating to the bequests of the late Robert C. Win- 
throp, Jr., with a recommendation that they be passed by the 
Society, and they were accordingly passed by a unanimous 
vote : — 

Received of Francis C. Welch, Executor of the will of Robert 
Charles Winthrop, the younger of that name, late of Boston, in the 
County of Suffolk, deceased, testate, Five thousand dollars given by the 
first paragraph of his said will in words following: " First. I give to 
the Massachusetts Historical Society the sum of Five thousand dollars 
($5,000) to be added to and form part of the fund bequeathed to that 
Society by my Father, and called by his name," and the said Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society hereby accepts said legacy upon the terms 
set forth in said will and agrees to be bound thereby, and the said 
legacy being now paid within two years after said Executor has given 
bonds for the discharge of his trust the said Massachusetts Historical 
Society agrees to refund said legacy or so much thereof as may be 
necessary to satisfy any demands of legatees and creditors that may be 
hereafter recovered against the estate of said deceased and to indemnify 
said Executor against all loss and damage on account of this payment. 

In witness whereof the said Massachusetts Historical Society has 
caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed and these presents to be 
signed in its name and behalf by Charles C. Smith, its Treasurer, 



1905.] BEQUESTS OF THE LATE ROBERT C. WINTHROP, JR. 305 

thereto duly authorized this 12th day of October, A. D. Nineteen 
hundred and five. 

Voted : That Charles C. Smith, the Treasurer, is hereby authorized 
and instructed to execute, acknowledge and deliver in the name and 
behalf of the Corporation the receipt and agreement which have just 
been read. 

Received of Francis C. Welch, Executor of the will of Robert 
Charles Winthrop, the younger of that name, late of Boston, in the 
County of Suffolk, deceased, testate, Two thousand dollars given by 
the second paragraph of his said will in words following: "Second. 
I give to the said Massachusetts Historical Society the further sum 
of Two thousand dollars ($2,000) to be added to and form part 
of the fund bequeathed to that Society by my kinsman, William 
Winthrop, of Malta, and called by his name ; and I invite the atten- 
tion of said Society to the fact that the income of this fund was 
directed to be applied to the binding of ' valuable manuscripts and 
books,' and that it has been a perversion of the intention of the donor 
to use it, or any part of it, for binding miscellaneous printed matter of 
little value,'' and the said Massachusetts Historical Society hereby 
accepts said legacy upon the terms set forth in said will and agrees 
to be bound thereby, and the said legacy being now paid within two 
years after said Executor has given bonds for the discharge of his 
trust the said Massachusetts Historical Society agrees to refund said 
legacy or so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy any demands 
of legatees and creditors that may be hereafter recovered against the 
estate of said deceased and to indemnify said Executor against all loss 
and damage on account of this payment. 

In witness whereof the said Massachusetts Historical Society has 
caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed and these presents to be 
signed in its name and behalf by Charles C. Smith, its Treasurer, 
thereto duly authorized this 12th day of October, A. D. Nineteen 
hundred and five. 

Voted. That Charles C. Smith, the Treasurer, is hereby authorized 
and instructed to execute, acknowledge and deliver in the name and 
behalf of the Corporation the receipt and agreement which have just 
been read. 

The President presented from the New York Historical 
Society an impression of the medal struck for that Society in 
commemoration of the centennial anniversary of its organiza- 
tion. The medal has on the obverse a head of John Pintard, 
whose name is also closely associated with the formation of this 

Society. 

39 



306 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

Hon. Samuel A. Green handed in the memoir of the late 
Henry W. Taft which he had received during the summer 
vacation from the late Hon. James M. Barker. 

The President then said : 

For the twelfth time I welcome the members of the Society 
back from the vacation period. 

During the four months since our last meeting, I am not 
aware that anything has occurred calling for record or par- 
ticular mention. The work of the Society has pursued its 
regular course ; and while numerous celebrations of greater or 
less interest have occurred, none have been more than local, 
nor has there been any especial reason why the Society, as 
such, should participate in them. At the June meeting refer- 
ence was made by me to our late associate Robert C. Win- 
throp, Jr., as he always continued to designate himself even 
after the death of his father. Mr. Winthrop, it will be remem- 
bered, died on the evening of Monday preceding our meeting ; 
he was buried from the chapel of the Theological School, on 
Brattle Street, Cambridge, the afternoon of Friday (9th). 
Subsequently it appeared that the Society had not been for- 
gotten by Mr. Winthrop in a testamentary way. Feeling an 
hereditary as well as a personal interest in it, the following 
bequests appeared in his will : — 

" I give to the Massachusetts Historical Society the sum of five 
thousand dollars to be added to and form part of the fund bequeathed 
to the Society by my father, and called by his name. I give to the 
said Massachusetts Historical Society the further sum of two thousand 
dollars to be added to and form part of the fund bequeathed to that 
Society by my kinsman, William Winthrop, of Malta, and called by his 
name; and I invite the attention of said Society to the fact that the 
income of this fund was directed to be applied to the binding of ' valuable 
manuscripts and books,' and that it has been a perversion of the in- 
tentions of the donor to use it, or any part of it, for binding miscel- 
laneous printed matter of little value." 

It will at once be noticed that this bequest on the part of 
Mr. Winthrop is strikingly illustrative of that most amiable 
feature of his character to which I alluded in my announce- 
ment of his death at the June meeting, — the extreme rever- 
ence he always felt for his father, and the solicitude he 
showed for his memory. The bequest thus made to the 



1905.] REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT. 307 

Society, it will be observed, is of the same kind and amount 
as that previously made by his father, and in addition thereto. 
The entire fund thus created will be known by his father's 
name. 

The intimation of Mr. Winthrop as respects the use made 
of the income of the William Winthrop fund will, of course, 
hereafter be carefully regarded. 

Mrs. Winthrop also advises me as follows in regard to an- 
other reference to the Society in the will of her husband : — 

"All the family papers and others were left to me with the suggestion 
that I should give to the Society forty-three folio and other volumes, 
of which I have a detailed list. He requests that they should be kept in 
the oak cabinet given by him and lettered ' Winthrop Papers.' There 
is other historical material which, if I choose, I may give to the Society, 
but I shall decide about that later. I have forty-three volumes I 
propose sending to the Historical Society when I return to town in 
November." 

It affords me much gratification, therefore, to report to the 
Society, and put on record in our printed Proceedings, the 
fact that, before the expiration of the year, all this most valu- 
able collection of papers — the gift, through his widow, of the 
younger Robert C. Winthrop — will be deposited with this 
Society, becoming its property. Its ownership, apparently, 
passes to us. Certainly no safer or better depository could 
be found; but the value of the accession from an historical 
point of view cannot easily be estimated, while it would not 
admit of expression in money. Our collections are vastly 
enriched. 

Until this meeting was close at hand, I had hoped to be able 
to announce to the Society that we met with numbers un- 
impaired. Such, I regret to say, is not the case. John Hay, 
a Corresponding Member, had, it is true, died at Newbury, 
New Hampshire, on the 1st of July ; but of Mr. Hay it surely 
is unnecessary to speak now. Placed on our roll of Correspond- 
ing Members at the June meeting of 1900, his death is so recent, 
and the published notices of him have been so numerous, that 
further reference here is manifestly superfluous. It is other- 
wise as respects Judge Barker. Born in Pittsfield October 23, 
1839, he was elected a Resident Member the 9th of April, 1896. 
At the time of his death, therefore, he had been a member 



308 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

a few days less than nine years and a half. It is a suggestive 
fact that, though the ten years of his membership were not 
yet completed, Judge Barker's name stood fifty-second on 
our roll. To us older members his election seems recent. 
Meanwhile the time which has since intervened has sufficed, 
within a small fraction, to renew the membership of the 
Society by one-half. 

As one of the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court of the 
Commonwealth, official duties necessarily prevented Judge 
Barker from taking an active part in our proceedings, or, in 
fact, being often present at our meetings. Other and obliga- 
tory engagements kept him elsewhere. He was, nevertheless, 
an interested as well as appreciative member. Representing 
the western part of the State, he was present here whenever 
his attendance in court would permit, and was always ready to 
assume, and promptly perform, any duty which might be as- 
signed to him. Accordingly, it was Judge Barker who, at 
our meeting of October 12, 1899, paid tribute to his associate 
on the bench of the Supreme Judicial Court, Chief Justice 
Field. He also prepared a memoir of President Paul A. 
Chadbourne, which he presented at the meeting of November 
10, 1904. Recently he had been appointed to write a memoir 
of Henry W. Taft, of Pittsfield, a fellow-townsman. Judge 
Barker's death, which occurred in this city shortly after the 
autumn sessions of the Supreme Court began, was wholly un- 
anticipated ; and yet it was characteristic of the man that the 
obligation thus imposed and assumed was already discharged. 
Promptitude was one of his characteristics ; and the last time 
he visited this building, only two months before his death, he 
brought with him the memoir he had agreed to furnish. 
More than that, he also then notified us of a valuable gift to 
the Society of papers, autographs, etc., from the family of Mr. 
Taft, for which, doubtless, we are also under obligation to 
him ; for it is safe to assume that the disposition was made at 
his suggestion. I will only further add that Judge Barker 
never served on any committee of the Society, nor was he a 
member of its Council. 

Judge Barker was appointed a justice of the Superior 
Court of the Commonwealth by our associate Hon. John D. 
Long, during his term as Chief Executive of the Common- 
wealth. I shall ask Mr. Long to favor the Society with the 



1905.] TRIBUTE TO JUDGE BARKER. 309 

characterization usual on the announcement of the death of 
an associate. 

In response to the President's invitation, Hon. John D. Long 
spoke as follows : — 

I am glad to respond so far as I can to your call, and I do 
so thinking of Judge Barker not only as a member of this 
Society and a public official of high rank, but as a personal 
friend of many years, the* memory of whose kind face and 
kind greeting and sweetly companionable personality is very 
grateful to me, as I am sure it is to us all. I knew him, not 
man and boy, but old man and young man, although those 
terms seem unfitting, for there was always an almost singular 
evenness and continuity of quality and tenor in him from 
first to last, so that in youth he had the poise and prudence of 
age and in age the freshness and openness in mind and heart 
of youth. 

He was always easily in prominence, not like a towering 
monument on a pedestal, but like a fair white stone on the 
highway of our New England life. Some men come into sight 
by the display of exceptionally brilliant qualities and achieve- 
ments, some b}' persistent push and forceful manipulation of 
agencies, and some by simple strength of character not so 
much asserting itself as turned to by the public, which always 
carries a lantern and is on the lookout for an honest man. 
Public advancement comes to men of this last class more easily 
when they have the added quality of loveableness, sympathy 
with the community felt by it as well as felt by them, — a 
quality expressed in the vernacular " We like him," and by 
the use in addressing them of the first or given name and 
often the diminutive of that, as was the case with Mr. Barker, 
not from any lack of personal dignity, which in him was very 
marked, but from the personal affection and good-will felt for 
him by his early neighbors and friends. If he were to-day a 
citizen of New York City, where just now the only hope of 
one political party's success is in finding the best of men as 
well as one with the popular element in him, the Judge 
was the sort of man who would be asked to run for Mayor. 

Among his classmates in college he was their beloved, and 
his word weighed. A young lawyer in his native town of 
Pittsfield, without prestige as a brilliant advocate or resort 



310 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

however proper to canvassing activities, he was sent to the 
General Court because of the general pride in his worth and 
confidence in his good judgment, his discretion, his absolute 
integrity. There among his legislative associates their recog- 
nition of the same qualities put him in the front rank of the 
leaders not of debate but of direction and legislation. Later, 
in selecting a member from the western part of the State on 
the commission for revising the tax laws, it was Mr. Barker, 
with his reputation at home and in the Legislature, to whom 
Governor Talbot's attention was turned. So, too, with 
Governor's Talbot's successor when a similar member was to be 
associated with Charles Allen and Uriel Crocker on the com- 
mission for revising the public statutes of the Commonwealth, 
and when in 1882 a vacancy occurred on the Superior Bench, 
Mr. Barker's appointment to which was universally approved. 
So, too, when Governor Russell promoted him in 1891 to 
the Bench of the Supreme Judicial Court, — an appointment 
equally approved ; and as it was the appointment of a man 
not of the then governor's political party antecedents, it set 
an example just now followed by our present highly deserving 
chief magistrate in the promotion of Judge Sheldon from the 
Superior to the Supreme Court. 

It is in the latter place that Mr. Barker achieved his highest 
mark. He was admirably equipped for it by nature and train- 
ing. He had distinctively the judicial quality. He was a 
diligent student of the law, both of its precedents and its 
general principles. He was fair-minded, industrious, patient, 
wise, courteous, neither garrulous nor austere. He had a 
fine sense of justice, of right and truth. His integrity, intel- 
lectual as well as moral, was structural, — a gift rather than a 
virtue. Somebody said in eulogy of Senator Hoar that he 
never yielded to the temptations which attend a public official 
to feather his own nest. It was not well put, because with a 
man of the Senator's organic qualities there are no such temp- 
tations ; he never faces them because for him they do not 
exist. It might as well be said that he never yielded to the 
temptation to eat thistles or wear an iron helmet on his head. 
Of the same sort was Judge Barker. And of the same sort, 
thank Heaven, are so many of our trusted ones, who in every 
community, in city or in rural hamlet, set the standard of 
conduct. Indeed one characteristic of Judge Barker is that 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 311 

he is a type of the men who serve in similar lines, — the faith- 
ful judges of our courts, the better class of legal advisers and 
counsel, the good citizens. 

Judge Barker was not limited to the law. He was always 
interested in public affairs. Of independent mind, he yet 
participated in political party councils and canvasses. He went 
to State and national conventions. He was always on the side 
of better things, of the reform of the civil service, of the uplift 
of political methods and results. He was a model of good 
citizenship, a loyal alumnus and trustee of his college, a very 
charm in the domestic and social circle. He dearly loved 
rural New England, and with a gentle humor enjoyed the 
quaintnesses and shrewd wit of the New England folk. It 
was his delight to camp on the seashore among the fishermen, 
and especially was it his delight to wander over the Berk- 
shire hiils, which were so familiar to him, to fish its streams, 
and to put himself in sympathy with its atmosphere and with its 
rural people, every one of whom knew him and cherished him. 
A healthy, all-round, wholesome man, good and true, he 
exemplified the simple life and preached it by living it. He 
embodied the ideal of the birth, culture, spirit, life, and service 
of a son of Massachusetts. When death came he had nothing in 
the past to regret, nothing in the future to fear. His accounts 
were all squared on the ultimate ledger. And he rests in peace !• 

Mr. John Noble was appointed to write the memoir of 
Justice Barker for publication in the Proceedings. 

The President submitted the following paper, which, he 
said, because of its length, would in full occupy much more 
than the prescriptive twenty minutes. He accordingly read 
portions of it only. 

Nearly a year ago, our associate Mr. Rhodes caused to 
be sent to me an advance copy of the then forthcoming fifth 
volume of his History. h\ his case, and under the circum- 
stances, the conventional note of acknowledgment, expressive 
of the great pleasure anticipated in a more or less remote future 
perusal, was clearly out of the question ; but, as I was then 
circumstanced, the immediate and careful reading of a bulky 
octavo of six hundred pages was scarcely less so. I therefore 
frankly wrote Mr. Rhodes that it would be necessary for me 
to lay the volume aside against some time of greater leisure ; 



312 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

but, when the occasion presented itself, I proposed to improve 
it by making his gift the subject of a communication to this 
Society. Even if it might not be in my power to add any- 
thing new in the way of material, not impossibly I might con- 
tribute something not wholly devoid of value by approaching 
the subject from a point of view in some respects different 
from his. 

Not until June did the opportunity present itself. It then 
came in the form of a business trip to the Pacific coast, the 
tedium of a portion of which was greatly relieved by Mr. 
Rhodes's narrative. The period covered in this volume, — 
the twenty-one momentous and ever memorable months be- 
tween December, 1864, and August, 1866, — is within my 
own recollection. As an actor, I bore my part, even if a very 
subordinate one, in some of the military operations which 
then took place ; and, when the war drums ceased to beat and 
the battle-flags were furled, I was deeply interested in the 
subsequent political movements and discussions in this volume 
described. I have thus lived to hearken to the verdict of the 
historian upon men with whom I associated, and events of 
which I was part ; and I will freely confess it has been to 
me matter of no small satisfaction to find the mature judg- 
ment of the historian in greatest degree coinciding with my 
own long ago feelings, and the convictions I at the time enter- 
tained. In reading the book, I passed my own recollections 
in review. 

Even if I saw occasion for it, the present would, to my mind, 
on mere grounds of good taste, be neither a proper time nor a 
suitable place for a controversial paper, much less for adverse 
criticism of Mr. Rhodes's work, which I do not hesitate to call 
great. But I am glad, on the threshold and once for all, to 
acknowledge that, as the result of my study of our associate's 
volume, I find in it little call to controversy, and none for 
adverse criticism. On the contrary, it has left upon me the 
impression of a thoroughly good piece of up-to-date historical 
writing; and, in my judgment, it tends distinctly to elevate 
rather than to lower that high traditional standard established 
for our Society in other days and by men of a former genera- 
tion. As an organization, we have a right to pride in such 
work. Based on the careful study of a vast mass of material, 
patiently gathered and judicially considered, the book is lit- 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 313 

erary in tone and calm in spirit. The period dealt with is one 
of abiding interest and of far-reaching moment. Its signifi- 
cance will only increase with the lapse of time, and to its 
history this volume will, I make bold to say, prove a contri- 
bution of lasting value. If for no other reason, it will so 
prove from the fact that it is not so far removed from the 
time of which it treats as to cease to be contemporaneous. He 
who writes has in this case shared in the intensity of that of 
which he writes ; with his own eyes he has seen many of the 
actors in the events of which he treats, and his ears have drunk 
in their own descriptive words. How great an advantage this 
may prove to one competent to avail himself of it has been 
shown more recently by Clarendon and Thiers, as in the 
classic times by Tacitus and Thucydides. What is more, I 
am willing here to put on record the belief that the judgments 
now rendered by Mr. Rhodes, as to both men and events, will 
prove in essentials to be in harmony with the ultimate verdict. 
Nor is this something lightly said ; for I hold that the men 
and events of the period of Gettysburg and Emancipation will 
be studied and weighed not less closely by the Carlyles, the 
Macaulays and the Gardiners of the twenty-third century than 
were the events and men of the Naseby and Commonwealth 
period by those I have named of the nineteenth. 

But if this is no place for the adverse criticism by one asso- 
ciate of the work of another, ours, on the other hand, is no 
mutual admiration society. Having therefore put myself 
right in a general way as to the estimate in which I hold the 
volume under consideration, I shall proceed to point out what 
I take to be certain defects and shortcomings therein. In 
writing history, especially the narrative of events still to a large 
extent contemporaneous, much necessarily depends on the 
point of view. The direction of approach involves, indeed, 
nothing less than the question of perspective, and the relative 
proportion of parts. On these, in turn, depend to some extent 
the conclusions reached. Upon this subject I have already 
more than once set forth my views, and I will not now 
repeat them or myself. On one occasion, 1 however, I found 
an illustration in the writings of two of our Corresponding 
Members, — Captain A. T. Mahan and Mr. Henry Adams. 
Both, it will be remembered, treated of the events of the same 

1 Proceedings, 2d series, vol. xiii. pp. 107, 108. 
40 



314 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

period, — the momentous Napoleonic period, — and of the 
connection of the United States with those events. Mr. Adams 
approached the problem from the diplomatic point of view, 
Captain Mahan from the Sea-Power side. Both views unques- 
tionably are essential to a correct understanding of what then 
took place, its why and its when, its wherefore as well as its 
outcome. They supplement each other; yet, neither sepa- 
rately nor together, do they make plain the complete inward- 
ness of that highly complex situation. So far as the United 
States was concerned, the key to the mystery is to be sought 
in the commercial necessities of the time and the combatants ; 
and the problem needed to be approached from the trading 
point of view. But neither of the investigators was a trader, 
much less a banker or a merchant. Accordingly there is still 
a phase of the narrative waiting for some one to supply. 

Coming now directly to the point, and Mr. Rhodes's .fifth 
volume, he therein approaches his subject in a general way. 
Neither a politician nor a soldier, he is as unskilled in practical 
diplomacy as he is innocent of any study of international law ; 
nor can he be classed as a publicist. Once, indeed, a man of 
affairs, he is now a judicially minded general investigator, 
bringing much hard common-sense to bear, always modestly, 
on the complex problems of a troubled and eventful period. 
Now it so chances that, in dealing with certain phases of that 
same period, I have approached the subject from a more 
specialized point of view. Though myself, at the time Mr. 
Rhodes deals with in this volume, in the army, or living here 
in Boston, I have since, not unnaturally under the circum- 
stances, studied the problems involved from the diplomatic 
standpoint, — the position then occupied by my father, with 
whose papers I have chiefly had to deal. In what I now have 
to say, therefore, I propose to point out, in a spirit of criticism 
wholly friendly, what seem to me certain deficiencies and 
shortcomings of Mr. Rhodes's treatment, when thus looked at. 
They will prove not inconsiderable. Indeed, they go, in my 
judgment, to the heart of the story. 

At the close of his summary of the war, in that chapter de- 
voted to a consideration of the internal affairs of the Confed- 
eracy during the struggle, Mr. Rhodes suggests a query which 
I have often put to myself, and over which I have, first and 
last, pondered much. Tersely stated, it is this: — How was 



1905.] MR. EHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 315 

it that we ever succeeded in overcoming the seceded States ? 
Mr. Rhodes says : " A certain class of facts, if considered 
alone, can make us wonder how it was possible to subjugate 
the Confederates. It could not have been accomplished with- 
out great political capacity at the head of the Northern 
government, and a sturdy support of Lincoln by the Northern 
people." 1 This, I submit, is an inadequate answer to a per- 
plexing question, — a question which goes to the heart of any 
correct historical treatment of our Great Rebellion, to adopt 
Clarendon's title. Surely it goes without saying that to 
overcome a combination of numbers, resources and territory 
such as that composing the Southern Confederacy implied 
great political capacity in the overcoming power, and the 
sturdy popular support of him upon whom the task devolved. 
As Shakespeare causes Horatio to observe in another connec- 
tion, " There needs no ghost come from the grave to tell us 
this." But the question suggested by Mr. Rhodes cannot, I 
submit, being one of a very perplexing character, satisfac- 
torily be disposed of by generalities. To formulate an answer 
at once definite and satisfactory, we must, descending to par- 
ticulars, be more specific. 

The usual and altogether conventional explanation given is 
the immense preponderance of strength and resources — men 
and material — enjoyed by one of the two contending parties. 
The census and the statistics of the War Department are then 
appealed to, and figures are arrayed setting forth the relative 
population and wealth, — the resources, manufactures and 
fighting strength of the two sides. As the result of such a 
showing, a certain amount of astonishment is finally expressed 
that the Confederacy ever challenged a conflict ; and the con- 
clusion reached is that, under all the circumstances, the only 
real cause for wonder is that such an unequal contest was so 
long sustained. 

But this answer to the question will hardly bear examina- 
tion. After the event it looks well, — has a plausible aspect; 
but in 1861 a census had just been taken, and every fact and 
figure now open to study was then patent. The South knew 
them, Europe knew them ; and yet in the spring of 1861, and 
from Bull Run in July of that year to Gettysburg and Vicks- 
burg in 1863, no unprejudiced observer anywhere believed 

i Vol. v. p. 481. 



316 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

that the subjugation of the Confederacy and the restoration 
of the old Union were reasonably probable, or, indeed, humanly 
speaking, a possibility. Mr. Gladstone, a man wise in his 
generation, and as a contemporaneous observer not unfriendly 
to the Union side, only expressed the commonly received and 
apparently justified opinion of all unprejudiced on-lookers, 
when at Newcastle, in October, 1862, he made his famous 
declaration in public speech that " Jefferson Davis and other 
leaders of the South . . . have made a nation. . . . We may 
anticipate with certainty the success of the Southern States so 
far as regards their separation from the North. I cannot but 
believe that that event is as certain as any event yet future 
and contingent can be." No community, it was argued, num- 
bering eight millions, as homogeneous, organized and com- 
bative as the South, inhabiting a region of the character of 
the Confederacy, ever yet had been overcome in a civil war ; 
and there was no sufficient reason for supposing that the 
present case would prove an exception to a hitherto universal 
rule. All this, moreover, was so. Wherefore, then, the excep- 
tion ? How was it that, in the result of our civil war, human 
experience went for nothing? 

Was, then, the unexpected really due to preponderance in 
force ? Confederate authorities have, of late, evinced a strong 
disposition to insist upon this as the correct and sufficient ex- 
planation. Their contention has been discussed here very 
recently by our associate Colonel Livermore. 1 In order to 
make out even a prima facie showing, the Confederate author- 
ities have assumed, or endeavored to show, that the South 
never, from Sumter to Appomattox, had over 600,000 men in 
the aggregate in arms ; and these, first and last, were opposed 
by, as they assert, some 2,800,000 on the part of the Union. 
Admitting these figures to be correct of both sides, — a large 
admission, and one which the analysis of Colonel Livermore 
has effectually disposed of, — it is none the less obvious that 
a force six hundred thousand strong, made up of fighting 
material of the most approved character, wholly homogeneous, 
acting on the defensive, mustered for the protection of the 
hearthstone, is something not easily overcome. It constitutes 
in itself a veiw large army ; and one more especially formidable 
when the minds of those composing it are to the last degree 

1 Proceedings, 2d series, vol. xviii. pp. 432-444. 






1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 317 

embittered against an opponent whose courage, as well as 
capacity, they held in almost unmeasured contempt. Such a 
force would, under the conditions existing in 1861 and 1862, 
unquestionably have considered itself, and been pronounced by 
others, quite adequate for every purpose of Southern defence. 

But this estimate of Confederate field force obviously in- 
vites criticism of another character. It calls for explanation. 
The Confederate historians and investigators responsible for 
it do not seem to realize that, in the very act of advancing it, 
they cast opprobrium on the community they belong to and 
profess to honor. If this estimate is sustained, the verdict 
of the historian of the future cannot be escaped. He will say 
that if 600,000 men were all the Confederacy, first and last, 
could get into the field, it is clear that the South went into 
the struggle in a half-hearted way, and, being in it, showed 
but a craven soul. No effort of the government, no induce- 
ment of pride or patriotism, sufficed to get even a moiety of its 
arms-bearing men into the fighting line. 

Such a showing on the part of the Confederacy, if estab- 
lished, will certainly not compare favorably with the forty 
years' later record of the Boers in the very similar South Afri- 
can struggle. Accepting the Confederate figures as correct, 
how do the two cases stand ? Territorially the Confederacy 
covered some 712,000 square miles, — a region considerably 
(30,000 square miles) larger than the combined European 
areas of Austro-Hungary, Germany, France and Italy, with 
Belgium, Holland and Denmark thrown in. This vast space 
was inhabited by five million people of European descent, with 
three millions of Africans who could be depended upon to pro- 
duce food for those of European blood in active service. In the 
course of the conflict, and before admitting themselves beaten, 
every white male in the Confederacy between the ages of 
seventeen and fifty capable of bearing arms was called out. 
Wherever necessary to preclude evasion of military duty the 
writ of habeas corpus was suspended, and the labor, property 
and lives of all in the Confederacy were by legislation of the 
most drastic character put at the disposal of an energetic ex- 
ecutive. The struggle lasted four full years ; and during that 
period the eighth part of a generation grew up, yielding its 
quota of arms-bearing men. Consequently, under any recog- 
nized method of computation, the Confederacy, first and last, 



318 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

contained within itself some 1,350,000 men capable of doing 
military duty. This result, also, is in accordance with the 
figures of the census of I860. 1 During the war the Con- 
federate army was reinforced by over 125,000 sympathizers 2 
from the sister slave States not included in the Confederacy. 
The upshot of the contention thus is, out of a population of 
5,000,000 whites, only 475,000 put in an appearance in re- 
sponse to a many-tongued and often reiterated call to arms, — 
a trifle in excess of one man to each twelve inhabitants. There 
were, moreover, more than 500,000 able-bodied negroes well 
adapted in every respect for all the numerous semi-military 
services, — such as teamsters, servants, hospital attendants 
and laborers on fortifications, the call for which always depletes 
the number present for duty of every army. 3 Yet it is now 
maintained by Confederate authorities that all the efforts of 
the Richmond government, backed by every feeling of pride, 
patriotism, protection of the domestic roof-tree and hate of the 
enemy, could only induce or compel a comparatively Spartan 
band to turn out and strike for independence. 

1 The exact number, arithmetically computed on the census returns of 1860, 
but of course to a certain extent inaccurate and deceptive, was 1,356,500. 

2 An exact statistical statement of the number of sympathizers from Mary- 
land, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, who, first and last, found 
their way into the ranks of the Confederate army, is, of course, impossible. It 
has been asserted that there were 316,424 " Southern men in the Northern army." 
This large contingent, so far as not imaginary, would naturally have come in 
greatest part from the " Border States," so called. It would be not unnatural to 
assume that these States furnished an equal number of recruits to the Con- 
federacy ; but such an assumption would, on the basis above given, be mani- 
festly absurd. The War Records contain lists of all military organizations of 
the Confederate army referred to in that publication. Including regiments, bat- 
talions and companies belonging to all branches of the service, regular and pro- 
visional, these numbered 279 from the four States, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri 
and Tennessee. Included in these were 238 full regiments. If these averaged, 
from first to last, only 600 each, they included an aggregate of 143,000 men. No 
less than 132 lesser organizations, battalions, and companies, and all individual 
enlistments, remain to be allowed for. Colonel Livermore, in view of these facts, 
writes me under date of October 24, 1905, " I think a larger estimate than 
135,000 in the«Confederate army from these States might safely be made." 

3 "I propose to substitute slaves for all soldiers employed out of the ranks — 
on detached service, extra duty, as cooks, engineers, laborers, pioneers, or any 
kind of work. Such details for this little army amount to more than 10,000 
men. Negroes would serve for such purposes, better than soldiers. . . . The 
plan is simple and quick. It puts soldiers and negroes eacb in his appropriate 
place; the one to fight, the other to work. I need not go into particulars." 
(Gen. J. E. Johnston to Confederate Senator L. T. Wigfall, January 4, 1864, 
Mrs. D. G. Wright, A Southern Girl in '61, pp. 168, 169.) 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 319 

How was it, under very similar circumstances, with the 
South Africans ? On Confederate showing they are a braver, 
a more patriotic and self-sacrificing race. Two communities, 
the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, were engaged in a 
defensive struggle against Great Britain. They included 
within their bounds an area of 160,000 square miles, — less 
than a fourth of that included in the Confederacy. Their 
entire white population was but about 325,000, and, when the 
war commenced, it was estimated they could muster a force 
not in excess of 48,000. In countries equally defensible, the 
Confederates had seven whites to a square mile of territory, 
the Boers had two. Yet in their two years of resistance the 
Boers, it is computed, had 90,000 men, first and last, in actual 
service, or more than one in four of their population, as 
against the one out of twelve in the case of the Confederacy. 1 
The preponderance of force opposed to the Boers was as five 
to one ; the preponderance of force in the case of the Confed- 
erates, according to this latest estimate of their historians, was 
at most but four and a half to one. 2 

1 To be exact, one out of each eleven and eight-tenths. 

2 We have census (1860) figures of the population of the States of the Con- 
federacy at the breaking out of the Civil War; but the Confederate muster-rolls, 
showing actual enlistments, are confessedly defective. It is not easy to reach 
any accurate figures as to either the population of the two South African re- 
publics, or the number of men actually put into the field by them during the 
war. The " total number of officers and men of all Regular and Auxiliary 
[British] Forces in the South African War from the beginning to the end" 
is officially stated as 448,435. At the beginning of the war the Intelligence 
Division of the British War Office estimated • the total available forces of 
the Transvaal at 29,917, and those of the Orange Free State at 13,104, or an 
aggregate of 43,021 combatants. At the close of the war, however, the total 
number accounted for was 72,974 Transvaal and Free State combatants, with 
16,400 " Rebels," " Renegades and Foreigners," or a grand total of 89,374. 
The British officials content themselves with saying "it is difficult to explain 
the excess over the Boer official returns [preceding the conflict] unless, indeed, 
these purposely understated the actual strength of the burghers." (Report 
(1903) of "His Majesty's Commissioners appointed to Inquire into the Military 
Preparations and Other Matters Connected with the War in Souths Africa," 
pp. 35, 158, 168.) Excluding in each case foreign sympathizers, the two South 
African republics apparently put into the field as combatants one man to each 
four and two-tenths (4.2) of their entire population; on the claim of the Southern 
historians the nine States of the Confederacy put into the field one combatant 
to each eleven and eight-tenths (11.8) of their total white population. The 
relative aggregate fighting force of the Boers was to that of the British almost 
exactly one to five. The force of the Confederacy (600,000), as claimed by 
Southern authorities, to that of the Union, as stated by the same authorities 
(2,778,304), was about as one to four and a half. 



320 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

Such an estimate is, however, as far from the mark as, were 
it based on actual facts, it would be discreditable to Confed- 
erate manhood. It is simply unbelievable that, measured by 
the proportion of fighting men to the total populations, the 
Boer spirit was to the spirit of the Confederacy as three is 
to one. The statement carries its own refutation ; and the 
Southerners of that period were no such race of miching, 
mean-spirited, stay-at-home skulkers as their self-constituted 
and most ill-advised annalists would apparently make them 
out. On the contrary, as matter of historical fact, they did 
both turn out in force and they fought to a finish. Un- 
doubtedly there was, towards the close of the contest, a large 
desertion from the Confederate ranks. The army melted im- 
perceptibly away. The men would not stay by the colors. 
When, in April, 1865, Jefferson Davis, after his flight from 
Richmond, met, at Greensboro', North Carolina, Joseph E. 
Johnston, then in command of the army confronting Sherman, 
a species of council was held at which the course to be pur- 
sued, in the then obviously desperate condition of affairs, was 
discussed. Johnston, knowing well the condition of things, 
and the consequent feeling among his men, when appealed 
to for his opinion bluntly said that the South felt it was 
whipped, and was tired of the war. Davis, on the other 
hand, was eager to continue the struggle. He insisted that 
in spite of the " terrible " disasters recently sustained, he 
would in three or four weeks have a large army in the 
field ; and, further, expressed his confident belief that the 
Confederates could still win, and achieve their independence, 
if, as he expressed it, " our people will turn out." 2 

That Davis even then honestly so thought is very probable ; 
and, looking only to the number of fighting men on each side 
available for service under proper conditions, he was right. 
And yet under existing conditions he was altogether wrong. 
As respects mere numbers, it is capable of demonstration that, 
at the close of the struggle, the preponderance was on the 
side of the Confederacy, and distinctly so. The Union at that 
time had, it is said, a million men on its muster rolls. Possibly 

i Alfriend, Life of Jefferson Davis, pp. 622-626 ; B. T. Johnson, Life of Joseph 
E. Johnston, p. 219; Roman, Military Operations of General Beauregard, 
vol. ii. p. 665. Roman here prints a letter, dated March 30, 1868, from J. E. 
Johnston to Beauregard, giving his recollections of what was said and took place 
at the Greensboro' meeting of April 12-13, 1861. 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 321 

that number were consuming rations and drawing pay. If 
such was the case, acting on the offensive and deep in a vast 
hostile country, the Union might possibly have been able to 
put 500,000 men in the fighting line. On the other side, 
notwithstanding the heavy drain of four years of war, the 
fighting strength of the Confederacy at the close cannot have 
been less than two-thirds of its normal strength. The South 
should have been able to muster, on paper, 900,000 men. 
Such a force, or even the half of it, acting on the defensive in 
a region inadequately supplied with railroad facilities, — and 
these, such as they were, very open to attack, — should have 
been ample for every purpose. Texas alone had in 1860 a 
white population larger by nearly 100,000 than the white 
population of the Transvaal and Orange Free State combined 
in 1899. 1 Texas covered an area of 265,780 square miles, as 
against the 161,296 of the combined African republics ; and 
this vast region was rendered accessible in 1861 by some 
300 miles of railroad, or about one mile of railroad of most 
inferior construction to each 900 square miles of territory. 2 
The character of the soil made heavy movement, slow and 
difficult always, at times impossible. In such a region and 
under such conditions, how could an invading force have been 
fed or transported, or kept open its lines of communication ? 
Thus, on the face of the facts, Davis was right, and the South, 
if it chose to defend itself, was invincible. 

And here we find ourselves face to face with one of the 
greatest of the many delusions in the popular conception of 
practical warfare. In his remark at the Greensboro' conference 
about the South " turning out," Jefferson Davis seems to have 
fallen into it. The South, at that stage of the conflict, simply 
could not " turn out." So doing was a physical impossibility. 
It was Napoleon who said that an army was like a serpent, it 
moves on its belly. In dealing with practical conditions in 
warfare, it has always to be borne in mind that an army 

1 According to the best "authorities, the combined white population of the 
two South African states at the beginning of hostilities was approximately 
323,113; the white population of Texas was returned in the census of 1860 at 
421,294. 

2 The census of 1860 returned 307 miles of railroad in operation in Texas ; in 
1903 it was stated that 11,256 miles were in operation. The proportion of rail- 
road mileage to area was, in 1860, one mile to each 865 square miles of territory ; 
in 1903 it was one mile to each 24 square miles. 

41 



322 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

is a most complex organization ; and its strength is measured 
and limited not by the census number of men available, but 
the means at hand of arming, equipping, clothing, feeding 
and transporting those men. Mere numbers in excess of those 
means constitute not strength, but an encumbrance. The 
supernumeraries are in the way; they not only tumble over 
each other, but they aggravate the shortages. It was so with 
the Confederate army in the last stages of the Civil War. The 
men were there ; nor did the leaders want more just so long 
as they were unable to arm, clothe, feed and transport those 
they already had. Both Lee's army and Johnston's army 
melted away as the alternative to starvation. Under such 
circumstances, if all the men in the South had flocked to the 
colors it would only have made matters worse ; the rations 
and ammunition would have given out so much the sooner. 
The artillery and commissariat trains could not be hauled 
when the horses were dead of inanition. In other words, 
after January, 1865, the possibility of organized resistance on 
the part of the Confederacy no longer existed. The choice 
lay between surrender and disbandment ; or, as General John- 
ston subsequently wrote : — " We, without the means of pur- 
chasing supplies of any kind, or procuring or repairing arms, 
could continue this war only as robbers or guerillas." 1 

The next question is, — How had this result been brought 
about ? How did it happen that five millions of people in a 
country of practically unlimited extent, and one almost in- 
vulnerable to attack, were physically incapable of further 
organized resistance ? How did they come to be so devoid of 
arms, food, clothing and means of transport ? In other words, 
what is the correct answer to the query suggested hy Mr. 
Rhodes ? He certainly does not give it ; but, perplexing as 
the question is, a plausible answer can surely at this late day 
at least be approximated. 

Lord Bacon long ago, in some passage I well remember 
but have not been able now to find, compares the judgment 
passed on current events by foreign nations with that of 
posterity. We may there, as he points out, find the necessary 
detachment and sense of proportion ; also that absence of 
prejudice and passion which, to some extent, makes good 

1 Johnston to Beauregard, March 30, 1868: Roman, Beauregard, vol. ii. 
p. 665. 



1905.] MR. RHODES S FIFTH VOLUME. 623 

deficiencies of knowledge. Turning over the pages of an 
English periodical lately, I came, in its issue for July, 18G6, 
across a somewhat elaborate paper entitled " The Principles 
and Issues of the American Struggle." 1 Philosophizing over 
the outcome of the struggle rather more than a year after it 
had been brought to a close, the writer of the article thus 
answered Mr. Rhodes's query some thirty-eight years in 
advance of the time when Mr. Rhodes put it : — 

" By dint of obstinate endurance — by dint of illimitable paper money 
and credit — by dint of foreign soldiers from Ireland and Germany 
who swarmed into the country, allured by bounties on enlistment vary- 
ing from £100 to £200 sterling per head — by dint of sacrificing general 
after general, however brave and able, who could not gain a victory — 
by dint of a blockade of the sea-board, producing in due time a famine, 
or something very like it, through the most fertile portions of the South ; 
and last, but by no means least, by dint of the cowardice or incapacity 
of the British government, that refused to unite with that of France in 
acknowledging the independence of the South — the Northern people 
conquered their Southern brethren." 

Here, then, is a foreign contemporaneous explanation, and 
one, in some respects, close to the mark. Yet it is not wholly 
satisfactory. It again is too general ; for, though the writer 
is specific enough, he generalizes in his specification, omitting 
nothing that suggests itself, and emphasizing everything about 
equally. Further elimination and a more severe analysis are 
necessary. 

Six contributing causes are specified. Let us, through the 
perspective of forty years, see which still stand as material. 
The initial two, "obstinate endurance" and "illimitable 
paper dollars and credit," we may pass over. The first goes 
without saying ; and the last would not in itself have sufficed 
to accomplish the end sought in 1865 any more than it had 
sufficed to accomplish the end then sought, when an advantage 
in the hands of Great Britain in the struggle that ended in 
1783. The third count also cuts no considerable figure in a 
revised summary. The backbone of the Union army at the 
close of the struggle, as at its beginning, was made up of 
Americans. The number of foreigners, Irish or German, 
drawn to the country by the temptation of bounties may have 

1 Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, July, 1866, vol. c. p. 31. 



321 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

been considerable ; but, as an advantage on the side of the 
Union, it was far more than counterbalanced by the drastic 
conscription enforced throughout the Confederacy. Three 
factors now only remain for consideration. One of these, the 
sacrificing of those leaders who failed to win victories, is a 
feature of all warfare, and in no way peculiar to our civil 
strife. As a factor in results it was not peculiarly in evidence 
there. The allusion is apparently to McClellan ; but, in his 
case, history, and the coming to light of historical material, 
have more than justified the course finally pursued by Lincoln 
and Stanton. Of the two remaining factors of success, — the 
blockade and absence of foreign intervention, — the last may 
be ]eft out of consideration. It is useless to discuss historical 
problems from the point of view of what would have happened 
if something had occurred which in point of fact never did 
occur. On this foreign and contemporaneous judgment of 
conditions we are thus through elimination brought down to 
one factor, the blockade, as the controlling condition of 
Union success. In other words, that success was made pos- 
sible by the undisputed naval and maritime supremacy of the 
North. Cut off from the outer world and all exterior sources 
of supply, reduced to a state of inanition by the blockade, 
the Confederacy was pounded to death. 

Or, to put the proposition in yet another form, in the game 
of warfare, maritime supremacy on the part of the North — 
what Captain Mahan has since developed historically as the 
Influence of the Sea Power — even more than compensated 
for the military advantage of the defensive, and its interior 
strategic lines, enjoyed by the South. Such being the case, 
the greater command by one party to the conflict of men, 
supplies, munitions and transportation worked its natural 
result. 

Unquestionably much could be said in support of this con- 
tention. More than plausible, it fairly explains an outcome 
otherwise inexplicable now, as contrary to all foreign expecta- 
tion then. Without, however, going into any elaborate dis- 
cussion of the arguments for and against it as a satisfactory 
historical postulate, but for present purposes accepting it as 
such, a distinct grasp and full recognition of the advantage in 
the struggle pertaining to the mastery of the sea is to my 
mind the most marked deficiency in Mr. Rhodes's treatment 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 325 

of the outcome of the conflict. In this respect his narrative 
is lacking in a proper sense of proportion. As compared with 
the space devoted to the movements on land, he fails to give 
to the sea operations the emphasis properly belonging to them. 
Towards the close of that portion of his fifth volume devoted 
to a summary of the preceding narrative, Mr. Rhodes, it 
is true, does incidentally say that the u work of the United 
States navy was an affair of long patience unrelieved 
by the prospect of brilliant exploits; lacking the incite- 
ment of battle, it required discipline and character only the 
more. But the reward was great; for the blockade was one 
of the effective agencies in deciding the issue of the war." 1 
This is a somewhat faint recognition of services really de- 
cisive ; but, such as it is, it may pass. As one reads Mr. 
Rhodes's narrative, however, it would hardly be supposed 
that a blockade existed at all, much less that it entered into 
the struggle as the essential pivot on which turned many of 
the most important of those land movements so fully described. 
For instance, an undisputed maritime supremacy made pos- 
sible Sherman's march to the sea. 

To this general criticism, an exception must be made in the 
case of the action between the Monitor and the Merrimac. 
To that a sufficiency of space (five pages) is given ; for, 
obviously, on its result depended McClellan's strategy. Be- 
sides being temptingly dramatic in itself, it had to be dealt 
with in connection with land operations. But the capture of 
Hatteras Inlet (August 26, 1861) and of Port Royal (Novem- 
ber 7, 1861) are incidentally mentioned in part of a twenty- 
three line paragraph, though strategically they were, and 
subsequently proved, of the utmost consequence, distinctly 
foreshadowing that process of devitalization as a result of 
which the Confederacy ultimately collapsed. Again, the tak- 
ing of New Orleans, from every point of view one of the most 
important events of the war as well as one of its most striking 
episodes, — a knife-thrust in the very vitals of the Confederacy, 
— is disposed of in two pages ; the sinking of the Alabama 
by the Kearsarge is truly enough referred to " as of no 
moment towards terminating the war" ; but its moral effect 
in Europe at a critical period was very memorable. Finally, 
to assert that the achievements of Admiral Farragut con- 

i Vol. v. p. 399. 



326 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

tributed not less than those of General Sherman to the down- 
fall of the Confederacy may or may not be an exaggeration ; 
but, on the part of the navy, it may safely be claimed that 
the running of the forts at the mouth of the Mississippi, and 
the consequent fall of New Orleans, was as brilliant an opera- 
tion, and one as triumphantly conducted, as the march through 
Georgia. It struck equal dismay into the hearts of the South- 
ern leaders. Yet the name of Farragut appears but once in 
the index of Mr. Rhodess fifth volume, in which he sum- 
marizes the war ; and that once is in connection with Andrew 
Johnson's famous " swinging-round-the-circle " performance. 
Twelve lines of text are devoted to the battle of Mobile Bay, 
while two lines only are made to suffice for the capture of 
Wilmington, which closed the last inlet of the Confederacy, 
hermetically sealing it. Here, then, from Hatteras Inlet to 
Fort Fisher, — between August, 1861, and January, 1865, 
— is a consecutive series of operations, prime factors in the 
final result, and they are disposed of in ninety lines of a 
narrative covering 1,350 pages. About a sixth of one per 
cent of the entire space is given to them. With Hilton Head, 
Hatteras Inlet, New Orleans, Hampton Roads, Mobile Bay, 
Wilmington and Cherbourg blazing imperishably on the 
record, Mr. Rhodes incidentally remarks that the work of the 
navy was " unrelieved by the prospect of brilliant exploits " ! 
Nor do the names of those identified with our naval triumphs 
thunder in the general index. Judged by that test, six lines 
suffice for the allusions to Farragut, and five for those to 
Porter ; while four solid columns are judged scarcely adequate 
for Grant, and two for Sherman. This, I submit, is dispropor- 
tionate. In some future edition an entire chapter for each 
year would not be too much to devote to an account of the. 
operations of that arm of the Union service which on the sea 
counterbalanced that advantage of interior lines on the land 
the Confederates so confidently counted upon, and of which 
all the military strategists or critics, whether domestic or for- 
eign, so everlastingly wrote. Throttling the Confederacy 
throughout, the navy was also a spear-thrust in its back. 

Passing to another topic of scarcely less importance, the 
sense of correct proportion is again at fault. The Confederacy 
did not go into the conflict unadvisedly. On the contrary, its 
leaders gave what at the time they considered full considera- 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 327 

tion to all the factors on either side essential to success. 1 As 
was apparent in the outcome, they reckoned without their 
host ; but, none the less, they did reckon. Unfortunately 
for it, the Southern community in the years prior to 1861 
was phenomenally provincial. Judged by its literature and 
the published utterances of its men and women, particularly 
its women, it seemed — intellectually, socially, economically 
and physically — to be conscious only of itself. This char- 
acteristic, among many other phases of development, was in- 
ordinately and most offensively apparent in an undervaluation 
of its prospective opponent both for character and courage, 
and in an overvaluation of the importance of the South as 
a commercial world-power. As respects the undervaluation of 
the prospective opponent, the mental condition of the South in 
1861 has since been very tersely stated by General Bradley T. 
Johnson, himself a Confederate, though born in Maryland, — at 
once jurist and veteran : — " The Southern people for several 
generations had trained themselves into a vainglorious mood 
toward the Northern men. They believed that they were in- 
conquerable by the North, and that the men of the North were 
not their physical nor mental equals." 2 And, reviewing the 
conflict and outcome through the vista of thirty years, this 
typical Southron reached a conclusion, bearing directly on the 
query suggested by Mr. Rhodes : — " The Confederate States 
were not crushed by overwhelming resources nor overpower- 
ing numbers. They were out-thought by the Northern men." 3 
As respects the other great factor of self-deception, the 
overvaluation of itself by the South as a commercial world- 
power, the mere mention of that delusion recalls to memory 
the once familiar, now quite forgotten, postulate, — " Cotton is 

1 For instance, in the very matter of a blockade, as an incident to war, James 
H. Hammond, then in the Senate from South Carolina, in a speech delivered in 
1858, and presently referred to, thus summarily dismissed the idea as an absurd- 
ity : " We have three thousand miles of continental sea-shore line so indented 
with bays and crowded with islands that when their shore lines are added, we 
have twelve thousand miles. . . . Can you hem in such a territory as that ? 
You talk of putting up a wall of fire around eight hundred and fifty thousand 
square miles so situated ! How absurd." (Selections from Letters and Speeches 
of James H. Hammond, pp. 311, 312.) 

2 " Vulgar, fanatical, cheating Yankees —hypocritical, if as women they pre- 
tend to real virtue ; and lying, if as men they pretend to be honest." (W. H. 
Russell, My Diary North and South, chap, xix.) 

8 Memoir of the Life and Public Service of Joseph E. Johnston (1891), pp. 
60, 61. 



328 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

King ! " To the South its infatuation on this point was the 
fruitful mother of calamity; for the commercial supremacy 
of cotton, accepted as a fundamental truth, was made the 
basis of political action. The unquestioning faith in which 
that patriarchal community cherished this belief has now 
passed out of memory, and the statement of it savors of 
exaggeration. As a matter of fact it does not admit of ex- 
aggeration. For instance, what modern historical presentation 
could be so framed as to exceed in strength, broadness and 
color the following from a speech delivered in the United 
States Senate, March 4, 1858 ? James H. Hammond, repre- 
senting South Carolina, then said : — 

" But if there were no other reason why we should never have war, 
would any sane nation make war on cotton ? Without firing a gun, 
without drawing a sword, should they make war on us we could bring 
the whole world to our feet. The South is perfectly competent to go 
on one, two, or three years without planting a seed of cotton. . . . What 
would happen if no cotton was furnished for three years ? I will not 
stop to depict what every one can imagine, but this is certain : England 
would topple headlong and carry the whole civilized world with her, 
save the South. No, you dare not make war on cotton. No power 
on earth dares to make war upon it. Cotton is King. Until lately 
the Bank of England was king, but she tried to put her screws as usual, 
the fall before the last, upon the cotton crop, and was utterly van- 
quished. The last power has been conquered. Who can doubt, that 
has looked at recent events, that cotton is supreme ? " x 

It would not be difficult to multiply almost indefinitely 

utterances like the above ; but for the purpose in hand this 

one will suffice. Intensely provincial, the idea was vulgar ; 

in the jargon of the Stock Exchange the South thought she 

had a corner on Cotton, and, if she so willed it, the World 

must walk up to her counter, and settle on any terms she saw 

fit to prescribe ! As Russell, of the London Times, observed, — 

" These tall, thin, fine-faced Carolinians are great materialists. 

Slavery perhaps has aggravated the tendency to look at all the 

world through parapets of cotton-bales and rice-bags, and 

though more stately and less vulgar, the worshippers here 

are not less prostrate before the 'almighty dollar' than the 

Northerners." 2 

1 Selections from the Letters and Speeches of James H. Hammond (New York, 
186(3), pp. 316, 317. 
j 2 My Diary North and South, chap. xv. 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 329 

Thus, in complete provincialism and childlike faith a com- 
munity was willing to venture, and actually did venture, life, 
fortune and sacred honor on its contempt for those composing 
the largest part of the community of which they were them- 
selves but a minority, and on the soundness of a commercial 
theory. In regard to the extent and implicit character of the 
faith held on both these points no better witness could testify 
than Dr. William H. Russell, the once famous Times Crimean 
correspondent just referred to. Russell certainly had no preju- 
dice against the South, or Southern men. On the contrary, he 
liked both ; while he did not take kindly to the North as a 
whole, or to its rjeople. He was, however, a foreign observer 
with a remarkable faculty for vivid description, and here 
to take notes and to portray things as they appeared. He 
was in South Carolina immediately after the bombardment of 
Sumter, and there mixed freely with the exponents of public 
sentiment. In his Diary he thus describes what he heard on 
the subject of Southern superiority and cotton supremacy, — 
he is recording what occurred at the Charleston Club on the 
evening of April 16, 1861, ex-governors of the State, sena- 
tors, congressmen, and other prominent South Carolinians 
being of the company : — 

" We talked long, and at last angrily, as might be between friends, 
of political affairs. 

" I own it was a little irritating to me to hear men indulge in ex- 
travagant broad menace and rodomontade, such as came from their lips. 
' They would welcome the world in arms with hospitable hands to 
bloody graves/ ' They never could be conquered.' c Creation could 
not do it,' and so on. I was obliged to handle the question quietly at 
first — to ask them ' if they admitted the French were a brave and 
warlike people!' 'Yes, certainly.' 'Do you think you could better 
defend yourselves against invasion than the people of France ? ' ' Well, 
no ; but we 'd make it pretty hard business for the Yankees.' ' Sup- 
pose the Yankees, as you call them, come with such preponderance of 
men and materiel, that they are three to your one, will you not be forced 
to submit ? ' ' Never.' ' Then either you are braver, better disci- 
plined, more warlike than the people and soldiers of France, or you 
alone, of all the nations in the world, possess the means of resisting 
physical laws which prevail in war, as in other affairs of life.' ' No. 
The Yankees are cowardly rascals. We have proved it by kicking and 
cuffing them till we are tired of it ; besides, we know John Bull very 
well. He will make a great fuss about non-interference at first, but 

42 



330 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

when he begins to want cotton he '11 come off his perch.' I found this 
was the fixed idea everywhere. The doctrine of ' cotton is king ' — to 
us who have not much considered the question a grievous delusion or an 
unmeaning babble — to them is a lively all-powerful faith without dis- 
tracting heresies or schisms." * 

The following day, Dr. Russell was one of a party on an ex- 
cursion down Charleston harbor, visiting Forts Sumter and 
Moultrie. In the course of the trip he met, among others, 
L. T. Wigfall, the notorious Texan who had recently resigned 
a seat in the Senate of the United States to throw in his 
fortunes with the Confederacy. Dr. Russell says in his Diary, 
April 17 : — 

" For me there was only one circumstance which marred the pleasure 
of that agreeable reunion. Colonel and Senator Wigfall, who had not 
sobered himself by drinking deeply, in the plenitude of his exultation 
alluded to the assault on Senator Sumner as a type of the manner in 
which the Southerners would deal with the Northerners generally, and 
cited it as a good exemplification of the fashion in which they would 
bear their ' whipping.' " 2 

A day or two later, Mr. Bunch, the British consul at 
Charleston, who not long afterwards achieved a most unhappy 
diplomatic notoriety, entertained Dr. Russell at dinner. It 
was a " small and very agreeable party," but of the talk at 
that table the guest recorded : — 

" It was scarcely very agreeable to my host or myself to find that no 
considerations were believed to be of consequence in reference to Eng- 

1 My Diary North and South, chap. xiii. Later, April 19, the Times cor- 
respondent called on the Governor of the State, F. W. Pickens. Of him he 
wrote : — " The Governor writes very good proclamations, nevertheless, and his 
confidence in South Carolina is unbounded. If we stand alone, sir, we must win. 
They can't whip us." (Ibid. chap, xvi.) 

2 A month later Mr. Wigfall received, through his wife, from a correspondent 
in Providence, Rhode Island, an ardent sympathizer with the Confederacy, a 
warning curiously characteristic of the period, and most suggestive of the esti- 
mate in which the Northern community was then held by those impregnated 
with Southern ideals : — 

" I think, however, that you at the South are wrong to undervalue the courage 
and resources of the Northern States. They are no doubt less accustomed to the 
use of firearms — there are very few who know how to ride, and they are less 
fiery in their impulses. They are less disposed to fight, but they are not cowardly 
where their interests are concerned and will Jighifor their money. Where their 
property is at stake they will not hesitate to risk their lives. ... I would not 
advise you of the South to trust too much in the idea that the Northerners will 
not fight; for I believe they will, and their numbers are overwhelming." (Mra. 
D. G. Wright, A Southern Girl in '61, pp. 52, 53.) 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 331 

land except her material interests, and that these worthy gentlemen 
regarded her as a sort of appanage of their cotton kingdom. ' Why, 
sir, we have only to shut off your supply of cotton for a few weeks, 
and we can create a revolution in Great Britain. There are four mil- 
lions of your people depending on us for their bread, not to speak of 
the many millions of dollars. No, sir, we know that England must 
recognize us,' &c. 

" Liverpool and Manchester have obscured all Great Britain to the 
Southern eye. I confess the tone of my friends irritated me." 

He next visited the leading merchants, bankers, and 
brokers : — 

" In one office I saw an announcement of a company for a direct 
communication by steamers between a southern port and Europe. 
* When do you expect that line to be opened ? ' I asked. ' The United 
States cruisers will surely interfere with it.' i Why, I expect, sir,' re- 
plied the merchant, ' that if those miserable Yankees try to blockade 
us, and keep you from our cotton, you '11 just send their ships to the 
bottom and acknowledge us. That will be before autumn, I think.' It 
was in vain I assured him he would be disappointed. ' Look out there,' 
he said, pointing to the wharf, on which were piled some cotton bales ; 
' there 's the key will open all our ports, and put us into John Bull's 
strong box as well.' " 

A guest shortly after on the island plantation of Mr. Tres- 
cot, he there met Edmund Rhett, a member of a family 
prominent in South Carolina public life. The Rhett dwelling 
house and plantation were on Port Royal Island, a few 
miles only from the smaller island on which Mr. Trescot 
dwelt. They thus were neighbors. The stranger and guest 
describes the South Carolinian as " a very intelligent and 
agreeable gentleman," but from his lips also came the same 
old story. " ' Look,' he said, 4 at the fellows who are sent out 
by Lincoln to insult foreign courts by their presence/ I 
said that I understood Mr. Adams and Mr. Dayton were very 
respectable gentlemen, but I did not receive any sympathy ; 
in fact, a neutral who attempts to moderate the violence of 
either side, is very like an ice between two hot plates. Mr. 
Rhett is also persuaded that the Lord Chancellor sits on a 
cotton bale. ' You must recognize us, sir, before the end of 
October.' " 1 

1 This meeting was on April 28. A few days only more than six months 
later both the Rhetts and Mr. Trescot hurriedly abandoned their homes, imme- 



332 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

As respects the outcome of what may well enough be called 
the South's cotton campaign, Mr. Rhodes's narrative seems to 
me deficient. That campaign was in fact the most far-reaching 
and, in world effect, the most important inaugurated and 
carried out by the Confederacy ; and in its result they sus- 
tained complete and disastrous defeat, — a defeat which en- 
tailed on them in the midst of the contest and in presence of 
the enemy, an entire change of front, economical, financial and 
diplomatic. This nowhere appears in Mr. Rhodes's narrative ; 
and yet on this phase of the struggle both Confederate finance 
and Confederate diplomacy hinged. And here again the block- 
ade comes to the front. 

Had the theory as respects the potency of cotton on which 
the South went into the war been sound, the blockade would 
have proved the Confederacy's most potent ally ; for the 
blockade shut off from Europe its supply of cotton as it could 
have been shut off by no other possible agency. In so far the 
government of the Union played the game of the Confederacy, 
and played it effectively. In the early days of the struggle, 
they talked at Richmond of an export duty on their one great 
staple, and of inhibiting its outgo altogether; the blockade 
made any action of this nature quite unnecessary. Through 
the blockade the cotton-screw, so to speak, was applied to the 
fullest possible extent. Nor was the overthrow of the po- 
tentate brought about easily. He was well entrenched, and 
dethroning him entailed on the commercial world one of the 
most severe trials it has ever been called upon to pass through. 
In this phase of the struggle Lancashire was the field of central 
battle ; and there, as the result of a struggle extending through 
eighteen months, the Confederate ikon was tumbled down. 
The catastrophe was complete ; and the whole Southern pro- 
gramme, economical, fiscal, and, at last, strategic, where it did 
not utterly collapse, underwent great change. The summer 
of 1862 marked the crisis ; before that, as Mr. Rhodes truly 
states, 1 the Confederate policy was to keep cotton at home, 
and by withholding it to compel foreign recognition ; after 
that, the one effort was to get it to market with a view to its 

diately after the bombardment and capture of the forts at Hilton Head, Novem- 
ber 7, 1861, by the expedition under command of Captain, afterwards Admiral, 
Dupont. All of the South Carolina sea-islands, as they were called, were thence- 
forth occupied by the Union forces, 
i Vol. v. p. 382. 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 333 

conversion into ships, munitions of war and necessaries of life. 
But Mr. Rhodes, in my judgment, disposes of this crucial 
Confederate defeat altogether too lightly. Mr. Rhodes says : 
" As we have seen, [England and France] when they could 
not get cotton from America, got it elsewhere." I do not 
know on what authority this statement is made ; but it is not 
in accordance with the facts. In the early months of 1861 
the estimated weekly consumption of cotton in Great Britain 
was 50,000 bales; at the close of 1862 it had fallen to 20,000 
bales, inferior in weight as well as quality. Indeed so bad 
was the quality that its manufacture was destructive to 
machinery. Of this greatly reduced quantity, moreover, 
a considerable portion — some twenty per cent — was the 
American product, run through the blockade. So great was 
the dearth that in September, 1862, the staple, which two 
years before had sold in Liverpool for fourpence a pound, 
had gone up until it touched the unheard-of price of half a 
crown. Cotton simply was not forthcoming from any quarter, 
and the commercial world was everywhere in search of sub- 
stitutes for it. 

To this subject, from my point of view, Mr. Rhodes might 
well have devoted a chapter. As it stands, it is a case of anti- 
climax : introduced with a loud blast of trumpets, the poten- 
tate simply vanishes, — so to speak, he evaporates. How, and 
what became of him, nowhere appears. Judging by Mr. 
Rhodes's narrative, one would infer that it was a case of insen- 
sible dissolution ; but, as an historical fact, it was very far 
otherwise. Not all that Mr. Hammond and others predicted, 
or that the Confederate leaders confidently looked to see 
happen, actually did happen ; but, none the less, the process 
involved a commercial and industrial disturbance of the first 
magnitude, and the most complete and disastrous defeat sus- 
tained by the Confederacy in the whole course of the war. 
The episode, too, carried with it a most instructive historical 
lesson as to the danger even nations incur from indulging 
with undue confidence in a theory, — in other words, the old 
South furnished in 1860-61 a very striking illustration of 
the homely truth that the evils incident to what is humanly 
known as a condition of mental " cocksureness " are not con- 
fined to individuals. In 1860 that whole Southern community 
was socially and economically daft. But no people and no 



334 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

period are exempt from such states of delusion. Within the 
memory of those now living this country has been subject to a 
dozen such ; in the eyes of not a few it is to-day suffering 
under more than one. Fortunately, so far as deep water and 
destruction are concerned, the experience of the South was 
exceptional. It was a dream; but a dream from which the 
awakening must have been terribly bitter. The first indica- 
tion I have found of a recurrence to common-sense was in a 
speech made by William L. Yancey at an impromptu reception 
given him in the rotunda of the St. Charles Hotel at New 
Orleans, on his return in March, 1862, from that wholly abor- 
tive mission to Europe on which he had been sent by Jeffer- 
son Davis a year before. He had learned something in the 
course of his travels, and he then significantly said : " It is an 
error to say that ' Cotton is King.' It is not. It is a great 
and influential power in commerce, but not its dictator." A 
little foreign travel had educated that particular Southern 
prophet out of some of his provincialism. Almost immediately 
his words found an echo in Richmond, a Louisiana Senator 
there sadly declaring in debate, " We have tested the powers 
of King Cotton and have found him to be wanting." 1 While 
three months later, in June, 1862, Alexander H. Stephens 
enunciated too late the correct principle. They had been pos- 
sessed with the idea, he told them, that " cotton was a political 
power. There was the mistake, — it is only a commercial 
power." 2 

Passing to the other topics in the treatment of which the 
narrative of Mr. Rhodes, though sufficiently full, seems from 
my point of view open to criticism, I next refer to his account 
of Sherman's famous march to the sea in November, 1864, and 

1 Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia, 1862, p. 261, quoted by Rhodes, toI. y. 
p. 411. 

2 What is known as the alternative Confederate fiscal policy is referred to, 
and discussed, by Mr. Rhodes (vol. v. pp. 381, 382). There is in the appendix 
to Roman's Life of Beauregard (vol. ii. pp. 674-680) an elaborate letter on this 
subject written by Mr. Stephens to Beauregard in 1882, seventeen years after 
the close of the struggle. In the letter he quoted at length from a speech made 
by him at Crawfordville, Georgia, in the fall of 1862. He then said : " The 
great error of those who supposed that King Cotton would compel the English 
ministry to recognize our government and break the blockade, and who will look 
for the same result from the total abandonment of its culture, consists in mis- 
taking the nature of the kingdom of the potentate. His power is commercial 
and financial, not political." 



1905.] ME. EHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 335 

Grant's advance on Richmond in May, 1864. Mr. Rhodes 
quotes General Sherman as saying in his Memoirs : " Were I to 
express my measure of the relative importance of the March 
to the Sea and of that from Savannah northward, I would 
place the former at one and the latter at ten, or the maxi- 
mum." We are then told, in a foot-note to the same page, 1 that 
Genera] Schofield was of a different opinion. " Considered," 
he said in his Forty-six Years (p. 348), " as to its military 
results, Sherman's march cannot be regarded as more than I 
have stated — a grand raid. The defeat and practical destruc- 
tion of Hood's army in Tennessee was what paved the way to 
the speedy termination of the war, which the capture of Lee 
by Grant fully accomplished ; and the result ought to have 
been essentially the same as to time if Sherman's march had 
never been made." 

On this point Mr. Rhodes expresses no opinion. He wisely 
leaves it for the military critics to fight it out among them- 
selves. I can, however, say that at the time, and in Europe, 
this view of the relative importance of operations did not 
obtain. Far from it. Schofield, of course, refers to Sherman's 
march north from Savannah, through the Carolinas ; but I 
gravely doubt whether his estimate of the strategic impor- 
tance of that march, or Sherman's estimate of its relative im- 
portance as compared with that through Georgia, are either 
of them correct. While, so far as the fall of the Confederacy 
was concerned, both exercised great influence on the out- 
come, from my point of view I incline to the belief that the 
march through Georgia was the more potent in influence 
of the two. It was so for an obvious reason. In war, as in 
most other affairs in which mankind gets itself involved, 
moral effects count for a good deal ; and especially is this 
so with somewhat volatile and excitable communities, such 
as that inhabiting the South unquestionably was. But, so 
far as Europe was concerned, it is safe to assert that no 
other operation of the entire war was productive of a moral 
effect in any way comparable with that caused by the march 
to the sea. Indeed, coming as it did and when it did, it is 
not too much to say it was an epochal event in that it marked 
the turning of the tide of European and especially of Eng- 
lish opinion as respects the United States and things American. 

i Vol. v. p. 107. 



336 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

James Russell Lowell wrote a well-remembered essay " Upon 
a Certain Condescension in Foreigners"; and, during the 
earlier stages of the Civil War, this well-understood " con- 
descension " resolved itself quite naturally into a studied tone 
of scorn, in no way veiled. The change which has since be- 
come so marked in this respect began with Sherman's march. 
That march in a way smote the foreign imagination ; and the 
whole course of subsequent events, down to the treaty nego- 
tiated last summer at Portsmouth, has served to promote what 
has now developed into a revolution in tone and estimate. 
As every one realizes, Lowell's " foreigner" has undergone a 
total change ; his " condescension " is of the past. The begin- 
ning of that change I had occasion to trace through the 
utterances of the European press. Up to the autumn of 

1864, and the re-election of Lincoln, the general tone of the 
European and especially of the English periodicals and papers 
was one of exaggerated admiration for Confederate valor and 
leadership ; while, on the other hand, the leadership and cour- 
age of the Union side were referred to with studied contumely. 
Sometimes, however, the contempt was equally distributed 
over both parties to the fray. The famous remark attributed 
at least to Von Moltke is still remembered, that he " did not 
have time to devote to the study of the combats of two armed 
mobs." But a much more curious and illustrative utterance 
"was one of Charles Lever, the Irish military novelist, who, 
most unfortunately for himself, chose as the time and place 
in which to deliver himself the January Blackwood's of 

1865. The paper was, of course, prepared some time before. 
By mere ill luck, however, it appeared in London just as 
Sherman put in his appearance at Savannah. In this paper 
Mr. Lever undertook to compare the American combatants to 
two inmates of a lunatic asylum playing chess. They went 
through moves similar to those of chess, but without the 
slightest comprehension of the game. He then goes on, — 
" Now, does not this immensely resemble what we are witness- 
ing this moment in America ? There are the two madmen en- 
gaged in a struggle, not one single rule nor maxim of which 
they comprehend. Moving cavalry like infantry, artillery like 
a wagon train, violating every principle of the game, till at 
length one cries Checkmate, and the other, accepting the 
defeat that is claimed against him, deplores his mishap, and 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 337 

sets to work for another contest. . . . Just however, as I feel 
assured, nobody who ever played chess would have dignified 
with that name the strange performance of the madmen, so 
am I convinced that none would call this struggle a war. It 
is a fight — a very big fight, if you will, and a very hard fight 
too, but not war." 1 There is much more to the same effect, 
the intensely ludicrous side of which at just that juncture the 
genial Irishman himself subsequently appreciated most keenly. 
What I have quoted will, however, suffice for the purpose of 
present illustration. At the very time Mr. Lever was thus 
rashly committing himself in cold print, General Sherman 
was entering on his famous march ; and, while that march 
was in progress, the daily tone of the London newspapers was 
pitched in much the same key as that of Mr. Lever's lucubra- 
tion in the forthcoming number of Blackwood. The out- 
come of the move of the " Yankee " General was looked for 
with a contemptuous interest ; it clearly was not war ; a hare- 
brained effort, dictated probably by desperation, it could end 
only in disaster; most probably it was an ill-considered 
attempt at getting out of an impossible military situation. 
But one day the tidings came that the heads of Sherman's 
columns had emerged on the sea-coast, that they had made 
short work of the forces there found to oppose them, and that 
Savannah had fallen. The army and the navy had struck 
hands ! The announcement seemed absolutely to take away 
the breath of the foreign critics, military and journalistic. A 
brilliant strategic blow had been struck ; an operation, the 
character of which could neither be ignored nor mistaken, had 
been triumphantly carried through to a momentous issue ; 
the thrust — and such a thrust! — had penetrated the vitals 
of the Confederacy; — what next? From that moment the 
end was plainly foreshadowed. Europe recognized that a new 
power of unknown strength, but undeniable military capacity, 
was thenceforth to be reckoned with. 

To one feature, and one feature only, in Mr. Rhodes's account 
of this memorable war episode, do I care to call attention. 
The historian, I fear, passes somewhat gently over the pro- 
nounced vandalism which characterized Sherman's operations 

1 Cornelius O'Dowd upon Men and Women and other Things in General : 
Part XII., " The Fight over the Way." Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, vol. 
xcvii. pp. 57-59. 

43 



338 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

from Atlanta to Savannah, and yet more from Savannah to 
Raleigh. It is referred to, indeed, both generally, and, more 
especially, in connection with what occurred in South Carolina, 
reaching a climax at Columbia; but the treatment is, not- 
withstanding, distinctly perfunctoiy. 1 The other, and I very 
much fear, the truer and more realistic, side is portrayed in 
sufficient detail, and with reference to chapter and verse, in 
General Bradley T. Johnson's Life of Joseph E. Johnston. 2 It 
there appears what Sherman meant by his famous aphorism — 
" War is Hell." The truth is that in 1864-65 the conflict had 
lasted too long for the patience of the combatants, and the 
defence of the Soutli had been very stubborn. The rules and 
limitations of civilized warfare, so far as non-combatants were 
concerned, were no longer observed, and Sherman's advancing 
army was enveloped and followed by a cloud of irresponsible 
stragglers, known throughout the country as " bummers," 
who were simply for the time being desperadoes bent on 
pillage and destruction, — subject to no discipline, amenable 
to no law. They were looked upon then by the North, 
weary of the war, with a half-humorous leniency; but, in 
reality, a band of Goths, their existence was a disgrace to 
the cause they professed to serve. For a Northerner it is not 
a pleasant admission, but the historic, if ungrateful, truth is 
that, as respects what are euphemistically termed the " severi- 
ties" of warfare, the record made by our armies during the 
latter stages of the conflict will not bear comparison with that 
of the Army of Northern Virginia while in Pennsylvania during 
the Gettysburg campaign. Lee's memorable general order 
(No. 73) dated at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, June 27, 1863, 
is well known, and need not be quoted; but there was truth 
in the reference to those opposed to him when in it he said, 
4 * No greater disgrace could befall the army, and through 

1 "It seems probable tbat the inhabitants of North Carolina were better 
treated than had been those of the sister State. Nevertheless correction of the bad 
habits engendered in the soldiery by the system of foraging upon the country was 
only gradually accomplished and the irregular work of stragglers was not circum- 
scribed by State boundary lines. . . . The men who followed Sherman were prob- 
ably more humane generally than those in almost any European army that 
marched and fought before our Civil War, but any invading host in the country 
of the enemy is a terrible scourge. On the other hand there is considerable 
Southern evidence of depredations committed by Wheeler's cavalry." (Vol. v. 
pp. 102, 104.) 

2 Chapters xi., xii., xiii. pp. 119-225. 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 339 

it our whole people, than the perpetration of barbarous out- 
rages upon the unarmed and defenceless, and the wanton 
destruction of private property, that have marked the course 
of the enemy in our own country. It will be remembered 
that we make war only upon armed men." It was my fortune 
to be a participant in the Gettysburg campaign, 1 and, forty 
years later, I was glad when occasion offered to bear my evi- 
dence to the scope and spirit in which Lee's order was at the 
time observed by his followers. " I doubt if a hostile force 
ever advanced into an enemy's country, or fell back from it 
in retreat, leaving behind it less cause of hate and bitterness 
than did the Army of Northern Virginia in that memorable 
campaign." 2 Our own methods during the final stages of 
the conflict were sufficiently described by General Sheridan, 
when, during the Franco-Prussian War, as the guest of Bis- 
marck, he declared against humanity in warfare, contending 
that the correct policy was to treat a hostile population with 
the utmost rigor, leaving them, as he expressed it, "nothing 
but their eyes to weep with over the war." 3 

1 Proceedings, 2d series, vol xiii. p. 106. 

2 Speech at thirteenth annual dinner of the Confederate Yeterans Camp of 
New York, at the Waldorf-Astoria, January 26, 1903 ; the annual Confederate 
commemoration of General Lee. 

3 "Thursday, September 8, 1870. — The Chancellor gives a great dinner, the 
guests including the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Herr 
Stephan, the Chief Director of the Post Office, and the three Americans. 
Amongst other matters mentioned at table were the various reports as to the 
affair at Bazeilles. The Minister said that peasants could not be permitted to 
take part in the defence of a position. Not being in uniform, they could not be 
recognized as combatants — they were able to throw away their arms unnoticed. 
The chances must be equal for both sides. Abeken considered that Bazeilles 
was hardly treated, and thought the war ought to be conducted in a more 
humane manner. Sheridan, to whom MacLean has translated these remarks, is 
of a different opinion. He considers that in war it is expedient, even from the 
political point of view, to treat the population with the utmost rigour also. He 
expressed himself roughly as follows: 'The proper strategy consists in the first 
place in inflicting as telling blows as possible upon the enemy's army, and then 
in causing the inhabitants so much suffering that they must long for peace, and 
force their Government to demand it. The people must be left nothing but their 
eyes to weep with over the war.' Somewhat heartless, it seems to me, but 
perhaps worthy of consideration." (Bismarck : Some Secret Pages of his 
History, Busch, vol. ii. p. 127.) To the same effect General Sherman subse- 
quently declared : " I resolved to stop the game of guarding their cities, and to 
destroy their cities. We were determined to produce results, and now what were 
those results'? To make every man, woman and child in the South feel that if 
they dared to rebel against the flag of their country they must die or submit." 

The subsequent influence on the American army of General Sherman's famous 



340 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

In other words, a veteran of our civil strife, General Sheri- 
dan, advocated in an enemy's country the sixteenth-century 
practices of Tilly, described by Schiller, and the later devas- 
tation of the Palatinate policy of Louis XIV., commemorated 
by Goethe. In the twenty-first century, perhaps, partisan 

" War is Hell" aphorism, and its illustration in his campaigns in Georgia and 
the Carolinas, is deserving of notice. 

Lieutenant-General S. B. M. Young spoke to the same effect as General Sheridan, 
at Prince Bismarck's table, at a public dinner given by the New York Chamber 
of Commerce at the Arlington Hotel, Washington, in honor of the representa- 
tives of certain foreign commercial bodies then in America, November 13, 1902. 
General Young then pronounced " all the army's defamers densely ignorant of 
what constitutes the laws of war," and added, " To carry on war, disguise it as 
we may, is to be cruel, it is to kill and burn, burn and kill, and again kill and 
burn." If the word "humane" could be applied to war, he would define it as one 
" fast and furious and bloody from the beginning." He added, " When war has 
been decided on by our nation I agree with the German Emperor's sentiments, 
and believe that the American army should leave such an impression that future 
generations would know we had been there." (N. Y. Tribune, November 14, 
1902.) 

The utterance of the German Emperor here referred to was his famous speech 
at Bremenhaven, July 27, 1900, to the first contingent of his army then embark- 
ing for China. He said : " When you meet the foe you will defeat them. No 
quarter will be given ; no prisoners will be taken. Let all who fall into your 
mercy be at your mercy. Just as the Huns a thousand years ago, under the 
leadership of Attila, gained a reputation in virtue of which they still live in 
historical tradition, so may the name of Germany become known in such a 
manner in China that no Chinaman will ever again dare to look askance at a 
German." 

At a court-martial convened in Manila twenty-one months after this utter- 
ance, Brigadier-General Jacob H. Smith declared that in operations conducted by 
him as General in command he had instructed a subordinate " not to burden him- 
self with prisoners " ; that he told him " that he wanted him to kill and burn in 
the interior and hostile country ; and did also instruct him that ' The interior of 
Samar must be made a howling wilderness'; and did further instruct him that 
he wanted all persons killed who were capable of bearing arms and were actively 
engaged in hostilities against the United States; and that he did designate the age 
limit of ten years." 

The court in this case found General Smith guilty of " conduct to the prejudice 
of good order and military discipline," and sentenced him to be admonished by the 
reviewing authority. The court declared itself thus lenient "in view of the un- 
disputed evidence that the accused did not mean everything that his unexplained 
language implied; that his subordinates did not gather such a meaning; and 
that the orders were never executed in such sense." (57th Congress, 2d Session, 
Senate Document No. 213.) 

Historically, however, it is noticeable that the instructions given by General 
Smith were in strict accordance with the " War is Hell" principles on which 
operations in a hostile country should be conducted as laid down on the occa- 
sion specified, by Lieutenant-General Sheridan, September 8, 1870, by the Ger- 
man Emperor, July 27, 1900, and by Lieutenant-General Young, November 13, 
1902. 



1905.] MR. RHODES's FTFTH VOLUME. 341 

feeling as regards the Civil War performances having by 
that time ceased to exist, American investigators, no longer 
regardful of a victor's self-complacency, may treat the epi- 
sodes of our struggle witli the same even-handed and out- 
spoken impartiality with which Englishmen now treat the 
revenges of the Restoration, or Frenchmen the dragonnades 
of the Grand Monarque. But when that time comes, the 
page relating to what occurred in 1864 in the valley of the 
Shenandoah, in Georgia, and in the Carolinas, — a page which 
Mr. Rhodes somewhat lightly passes over, — will probably be 
rewritten in characters of far more decided import. 1 

1 In his work entitled " Ohio in the War " (1868), Mr. Whitelaw Reid says of 
the burning of Columbia, "it was the most monstrous barbarity of the barbarous 
march. There is no reason to think that General Sherman knew anything of the 
purpose to burn the city, which had been freely talked about among the soldiers 
through the afternoon. But there is reason to think that he knew well enough 
who did it, that he never rebuked it, and made no effort to punish it. . . . He did 
not seek to ferret out and punish the offending parties. He did not make his 
army understand that he regarded this barbarity as a crime. He did not seek to 
repress their lawless course. On the contrary, they came to understand that the 
leader, whom they idolized, regarded their actions as a good joke, chuckled over 
them in secret, and winked at them in public. ... In both campaigns [that from 
Atlanta to Savannah, and from Savannah to Goldsboro'] great bodies of men 
were moved over States and groups of States with the accuracy and precision of 
mechanism. In neither was any effort to preserve discipline apparent, save only 
so far as was needful for keeping up the march. 

" Here, indeed, is the single stain on the brilliant record. Before his move- 
ment began, General Sherman begged permission to turn his army loose in South 
Carolina and devastate it. He used this permission to the full. He protested 
that he did not wage war on women and children. But, under the operation of 
his orders, the last morsel of food was taken from hundreds of destitute families, 
that his soldiers might feast in needless and riotous abundance. Before his eyes 
rose, day after day, the mournful clouds of smoke on every side, that told of old 
people and their grandchildren driven, in midwinter, from the only roofs there 
were to shelter them, by the flames which the wantonness of his soldiers had 
kindled. With his full knowledge and tacit approval, too great a portion of his 
advance resolved itself into bands of jewelry-thieves and plate-closet burglars. 
Yet, if a single soldier was punished for a single outrage or theft during that entire 
movement, we have found no mention of it in all the voluminous records of the 
march. He did indeed say that he ' would not protect ' them in stealing ' women's 
apparel or jewelry/ But even this, with no whisper of punishment attached, he 
said, not in general orders, nor in approval of the findings of some righteously 
severe court-martial, but incidentally — in a letter to one of his officers, which 
never saw the light till two years after the close of the war. He rebuked no one 
for such outrages ; the soldiers understood that they pleased him. Was not South 
Carolina to be properly punished 1 

" This was not war. It was not even the revenge of a wrathful soldiery, for 
it was practised, not upon the enemy, but upon the defenceless 'feeble folk ' he 
had left at home. There was indeed one excuse for it — an excuse which chivalric 
soldiers might be slow to plead. It injured the enemy — not by open fight, where 



312 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

One final topic ; dealt with by Mr. Rhodes in his fourth 
volume rather than in the fifth, it still occupies a prominent 
place in his narrative, and its treatment necessarily involves 
a man who, first and last, for good or evil, will assuredly 
stand forth in history as one of Massachusetts' most conspic- 
uous contributions to our Great Rebellion period. The topic 
is that Virginia campaign which made sadly memorable the 
spring and summer of 1864 : the individual, General B. F. 
Butler. To my mind Mr. Rhodes has neither done justice, 
nor fully meted out justice, to the episode or to the man. 

And, primarily, in the matter of Grant's strategy in that 
famous campaign. It seems to me to have been much better 
considered, and more creditable to him, than would be inferred 
from Mr. Rhodes's narrative. Mr. Rhodes then, secondarily, 
as I see it, fails to place where it belongs the grave responsi- 
bility for the failure of Grant's plan of campaign, with the 
awful loss of life that failure involved. My understanding 
has always been that Grant's plan assumed the active and 
harmonious co-operation of three distinct armies, — that of 
the Potomac, under General Meade ; that of the James, under 
General Butler ; and, finally, the Ninth Corps, 15,000 strong, 
under the command of General Burnside. Meade, with the 
Army of the Potomac, was to advance and engage Lee, hold- 
ing the Confederate army of Northern Virginia fully occu- 
pied ; Burnside, meanwhile, was to be in reserve, immediately 
in Meade's rear; and, while Lee was thus engaged, Butler, 
with the Army of the James, composed of two corps, the Tenth 
and Eighteenth, and in all some 35,000 to 40,000 strong, was to 
push forward vigorously, threatening Richmond, and jeopard- 
izing Lee's communications. Thus an important, if not vital, 
part in the plan of operations depended on Butler and the 
Army of the James. Opposed to him, with his completely 
equipped and numerically formidable command, was a wholly 
inadequate and widely scattered force under General Beaure- 
gard, recently (April 15) assigned to that department, and not 
yet on the ground. 1 If by an offensive movement, intelli- 

a million would have been thought full match for less than a hundred thousand, 
but by frightening his men about the situation of their wives and children ! " 
(Ohio in the War, vol. i. pp. 475-479.) 

1 Beauregard was at Weldon, North Carolina, from April 22 to May 10, await- 
ing the development of the Union plan of campaign. He did not reach Peters- 
burg until May 10. 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 343 

gently conceived and skilfully as well as vigorously handled, 
the Confederate line could be broken and thrown back into 
Richmond, Lee's rear would be exposed, his lines of communi- 
cation threatened, and he must, abandoning Richmond, have 
fallen back towards Lynchburg or the Carolinas. Grant then 
proposed to follow him up, hanging doggedly on his rear, 
and catch Lee between an upper and a nether mill-stone, — 
the Army of the James holding him in check until the Army 
of the Potomac, hurrying up, could force a decisive battle. 

As a strategic plan this was open to criticism. Two dis- 
tinct armies were to operate conjointly in wholly separate 
fields, with an active enemy between them, enjoying, of 
course, the advantage of shorter interior lines. By a rapid 
concentration of forces it was obvious that Lee might crush 
Butler, and then swiftly turn to confront Meade either from 
within the defences of Richmond or in the open. Not impos- 
sibly the Army of the Potomac might then be doomed to 
undergo, on the same ground, a repetition of its experiences 
of two years before. General Beauregard, it has since ap- 
peared, did indeed almost at once take in the situation from 
this point of view, and devised a plan of campaign accord- 
ingly. 1 Nevertheless, though involving some risk in the 
presence of two such commanders as Lee and Beauregard, 
both at once alert and vigorous, Grant's scheme of campaign 
was well considered and practical. He enjoyed a large 
numerical preponderance, and each of the three independent 
armies, if skilfully as well as energetically handled, was amply 
sufficient to take care of itself. 

Had, accordingly, Grant's plan been carried out in all its 
parts, — south of the James as well as north of Richmond, — 
the terrible fighting of May and June in the Wilderness, and 
on the road to the James and Petersburg, would have been 
avoided. Richmond assuredly must have fallen ; while the 
fate of Lee and his army would have been at least problem- 
atical. Though it is not probable that Appomattox could have 
been anticipated by a year, the Confederacy would have lost 
its capital, and Lee, with one of his two lines of communi- 
cation with the Carolinas cut off, would have been confronted 
by the three Union armies, undepleted and combined under 
Grant. 

1 Roman, Beauregard, vol. ii. pp. 201, 202. 



344 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

If such was Grant's plan, as I at the time and since have 
always understood, Mr. Rhodes gives no hint of it. He treats 
the campaign as if it had developed on the lines originally in- 
tended. If so, and I am right in my understanding, this does 
Grant great strategic injustice. His campaign failed, — failed 
in the beginning, and failed through the gross military incom- 
petency of the General commanding the Army of the James. 

An army could not well enter on an active campaign more 
auspiciously than did the Army of the Potomac in April, 
1864. With full ranks, well disciplined, admirably equipped, 
inured to service, with confidence in itself and its commanders, 
it felt equal to any emergency of warfare. It was in fact a 
most formidable fighting machine ; but, formidable as it was, 
the test to which it was subjected exceeded endurance. 
Plunging into the Wilderness, it found itself confronted by 
Lee at the head of the even more veteran Arm)- of Northern 
Virginia, fighting on the defensive in a country peculiarly sus- 
ceptible of an effective defence. 1 Mr. Rhodes has described 

1 In his Memoir of General William Farrar Smith, in the " Heroes of the Civil 
War Series," General James H. Wilson, both a very competent critic and one who 
on this subject spoke from intimate personal knowledge, attributed the ensuing 
failure of the campaign in greatest part to the very defective organization of the 
headquarters staff. For this, of course, Grant was wholly responsible. General 
Wilson says : " Without pausing here to recapitulate the arguments for and 
against the line and general plan of operations actually selected by General 
Grant, or to consider further his choice of subordinate commanders, it may be 
well to call attention to the fact that the organization and arrangements made by 
him for the control and co-operation of the forces in Virginia are now generally 
regarded by military critics as having been nearly as faulty as they could have 
been. ... It was in the nature of things impossible to make either the armies 
or the separate army-corps work harmoniously and effectively together. The 
orders issued from the different headquarters were necessarily lacking in uni- 
formity of style and expression, and failed to secure that prompt and unfailing 
obedience that in operations extending over so wide and difficult a field was 
absolutely essential, and this was entirely independent of the merits of the 
different generals or the peculiarities of their Chiefs of Staff and Adjutants 
General. The forces were too great ; they were scattered too widely over the 
field of operations ; the conditions of the roads, the width of the streams and 
the broken and wooded features of the battlefields were too various, and the 
means of transport and supply were too inadequate to permit of simultaneous 
and synchronous movements, even if they had been intelligently provided for, 
and the generals had uniformly done their best to carry them out. 

" But when it is considered that Grant's own staff, although presided over by 
a very able man from civil life, and containing a number of zealous and expe- 
rienced officers from both the regular army and the volunteers, was not organ- 
ized for the arrangement of the multifarious details and combinations of the 
marches and battles of a great campaign, and indeed under Grant's special 



1905 ] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 345 

what ensued. In forty days the force in Lee's front reported 
55,000 casualties. Meanwhile, what had become of the Army 
of the James? Why did it not play its part, working a diver- 
sion ? Well do I remember, at the time and on the spot, when 
the news came that Beauregard, with a mere handful of men, 

— hardly more than a heavy skirmish line, — had foiled 
Butler. No relief was to be looked for from that quarter. It 
was at this juncture that Grant characteristically remarked 
that " Butler was as safe as wax ; bottled up at Bermuda 
Hundred!" But the plan of campaign then went to pieces; 
while Lee, relieved from all anxiety because of Richmond and 
his rear, with his communications assured, was left free to op- 
pose his entire force to the enemy before him. What ensued, 
Mr. Rhodes has sufficiently told in a previous volume. 

In the volume now under consideration, however, Mr. 
Rhodes deals with Benjamin F. Butler judicially, — as one 
standing at the bar of history. The sentence he passes upon 
him is severe, and the more severe because carefully restrained 
in expression. But it is confined to questions of mere lucre, 

— " beyond reasonable doubt," Mr. Rhodes says, "he [Butler] 
was making money [illicitly] out of his country's life struggle." 
That is bad ; but, however bad it may be, it is in my judg- 
ment the rendering on a very minor count in the long indict- 
ment to which Massachusetts' senior Major-General of the 
Civil War should be made to answer. His departmental dis- 
honesty may be measured in dollars and cents ; his head- 
quarters incompetence cost blood and grief both unmeasured 
and immeasurable. Who was responsible for the greater part 
of that awful loss of life, — a loss numerically nearly equal 
to the entire army Napoleon had on the field at Waterloo ? 
Primarily, it was that commander of the Army of the James 
who so utterly failed in doing the work he had himself in- 
sisted should be assigned him to do ; 1 and, secondarily, to the 

instructions made no efforts to arrange them, it will be apparent that properly 
co-ordinated, movements could not be counted upon. ... In addition to the 
defective organization and inefficient staff arrangements which have been men- 
tioned, neither the Union government nor the Union generals ever made pro- 
visions, or seemed to understand the necessity, for a sufficient preponderance of 
force, to neutralize the advantages which the Confederate armies enjoyed, when 
fighting on the defensive, or to render victory over them reasonably certain." 

1 Yet in his farewell order to the Army of the James of January 8, 1865, 
Butler boasted — "The wasted blood of my men does not stain my garments." 
War Records, Serial No. 96, p. 71. 

44 



34G MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 



[Oct. 



commander-in-chief who left a charlatan and an incompetent 
in the place to which he should have designated his trustiest 
lieutenant. 1 It was a parallel case to that of Grouchy, — the 
fatal mistake of the man at the head in the choice of a tool. 
Years ago, during the life of our late associate John C. Ropes, 
I frequently discussed with him — once (1894), I remember, 
on the field of Waterloo — what turn other than that history 
has recorded might have been given to the momentous 15th 
of June, 1815, had Davout, instead of being at the time 
Minister of War and in Paris, been, as he should have been, 
in command of Napoleon's right wing. It hardly admits of 
question that the victor of Auerstadt and Eckmiihl, instinct- 
ively taking in the strategic situation, would have kept in 
close touch with the Emperor, and that Bliicher would have 
found the road from Wavre to Waterloo effectually blocked. 
Napoleon's right arm would not then have been paralyzed ; 
he would have been free to throw his whole army on Wel- 
lington's flank and rear. Fortunately for Wellington, Grouchy, 
and not Davout, was that clay in command of Napoleon's 
detached wing. Butler's command and mission in the Virginia 
campaign of 1864 were almost exactly similar to the command 
and mission of Grouchy in the Waterloo campaign of 1815 ; 
and now to discuss the operations of the Army of the 
Potomac in the Wilderness and at Spottsylvania without 
constant reference to what the Army of the James was on 
those days doing south of the James, is a treatment no less 
defective than it would be to try to explain what took place 
at Waterloo without giving any consideration to Grouchy's 
blundering march from Gembloux to Wavre. Butler, like 
Grouchy, was left by the commander-in-chief to act, under 
general instructions, as the conditions of time and place, and 
the movements of the enemy in his front, might make more 
expedient, the plan of campaign and general strategic situa- 
tion being always clearly in mind. Both failed, and failed 

1 " Lastly, to put such an important operation as this under the charge of a 
civilian who had never made any military reputation was really an unwarrant- 
able piece of folly. If, as Badeau says, Mr. Lincoln insisted upon it on political 
grounds, it would have done Mr. Lincoln no harm for General Grant to have re- 
minded him, in distinct and not to be misunderstood speech, that the Congress 
of the United States had placed him, Grant, in charge of the armies of the 
United States for the very purpose of seeing to it that this sort of thing should 
not occur in the future, as it had so often in the past." (J. C. Ropes, Papers of 
Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, vol. iv. p. 369.) 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 347 

utterly. In each case incalculable disaster ensued. My 
point is that, in the narrative of Mr. Rhodes, Butler does not 
figure as the Grouchy of the Wilderness. 

It is obvious enough now, and, when too late, was plain 
enough to Grant then, that a blunder of selection entailing 
infinite detriment was made. In planning his campaign of 
1864 Grant should have taken no chances ; and it is safe to 
say that at no subsequent period would he have entrusted 
to Butler any military operations. Probably at the time he 
relied on General W. F. (" Baldy ") Smith, assigned to the 
command of the Eighteenth Corps, and second in rank in the 
Army of the James, to supply Butler with that military guid- 
ance of which he stood in such crying need. If this was so, 
Grant was wrong again. Smith was then fresh from Chatta- 
nooga, where he had shown great skill immediately under 
Grant's eye ; and perhaps no one available in the whole Union 
army at that time promised a more brilliant future. So high 
an opinion did Grant then hold of Smith that when the newly 
appointed Lieutenant-General came East in February, 1864, 
to take full charge, he brought Smith with him, with the 
half-formulated idea of substituting him for Meade in com- 
mand of the Army of the Potomac. This idea Grant subse- 
quently abandoned, finding a place for Smith in the Army of 
the James ; but, unfortunately, he did not substitute him for 
Butler as he had proposed to do for Meade. Instead of so 
doing he endeavored, taking a half-way course, by indirec- 
tions to work directions out. As usual, when in military 
operations that feat is attempted, a terrible mistake was made. 
Smith was, in fact, a skilful engineer ; in all respects a good 
soldier; and, in some, a brilliant commander. But Butler, 
though himself a military harlequin, was a man not eas}' to 
guide; nor was "Baldy" Smith the man to guide him. On 
the contrary, he was almost the last of those high in rank to 
whom that task, at once difficult and delicate, should have 
been assigned. 1 A year later, General Grant would unques- 
tionably have selected Sheridan to do the work thus hesitat- 
ingly assigned ; but, in May, 1864, Sheridan had not forged 
to the front as he afterwards so rapidly did. None the less, 
just as it is curious to consider what would have been the 

1 " General Smith, whilst a very able officer, is obstinate, and is likely to con- 
demn whatever is not suggested by himself." (Grant to Hancock, May 21, 1865.) 



348 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

result in June, 1815, had Davout filled the position in Napo- 
leon's command held by Grouchy, so we are free to philoso- 
phize to any extent we see fit over what might have happened 
in May and June, 1865, had Beauregard then found himself 
confronted by Sheridan instead of by Butler. 

The recollection of events and talk of more than forty years 
ago was the sole basis for the statements made in the text, and 
the conclusions drawn therefrom. Throughout the period in 
question I was attached in a subordinate capacity to the head- 
quarters of the Army of the Potomac, and was, almost of ne- 
cessity, more or less familiar with operations then going on 
in the field, and the views generally held at and about head- 
quarters of them, and of those who had had them in charge. 
But, however vivid and distinct it may be, the memory of 
what was asserted, or actually occurred, more than the life- 
time of a generation ago is no basis for any historical state- 
ment. While revising this paper I have therefore sought to 
refresh my memory and verify my recollections by consulting 
portions of the vast mass of material put in print since 1865, 
especially the War Records, Grant's Personal Memoirs (1885), 
Butler's Book (1892), Roman's Military Operations of General 
Beauregard (1884), W. F. Smith's Chattanooga to Petersburg 
(1893), and, on the whole as illuminating as any, our late asso- 
ciate John C. Ropes's paper (1884) entitled Grant's Campaign 
in Virginia. 1 While from these authorities I have learned 
much I did not before know as to details, I have come across 
nothing affecting the general correctness of the impressions 
I at the time received. 

Grant's original plan of combined campaign for the spring 
of 1864 was exactly that described. To quote his own lan- 
guage in his instructions to Meade, " Lee's army will be your 
objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also. 
Gillmore will join Butler with about 10,000 men from South 
Carolina. Butler can reduce his [Fortress Monroe garrison] so 
as to take 23,000 men into the field directly to his front. The 
force will be commanded by Major-General W. F. Smith. 
With Smith and Gillmore, Butler will seize City Point, and 
operate against Richmond from the south side of the river. 

1 This paper appears as Number XV. (pp. 363-405) in the volume entitled " The 
Wilderness Campaign," of the publications of the Military Historical Society of 
Massachusetts. 



1905.] 



MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 



349 



His movement will be simultaneous with yours." x At the 
same time Grant wrote to Butler as follows : — Major-General 
Smith " is ordered to report to you to command the troops 
sent into the field from your own department. . . . The fact 
that Richmond is to be your objective point, and that there 
is to be co-operation between your force and the Army of the 
Potomac, must be your guide." Butler was at once to seize 
City Point, and there, Grant wrote, " concentrate all your 
troops for the field as rapidly as you can. From City Point 
directions cannot be given at this time for your further move- 
ments." Holding a firm base on the south bank of the James, 
Butler was thus left free to move in any direction he saw 
fit; and "should the enemy be forced into his intrenchments 
in Richmond, the Army of the Potomac would follow, and by 
means of transports the two armies would become a unit." 2 
Such were Butler's instructions; meanwhile of Smith, who 
was " to command the troops sent into the field," Grant at the 
same time wrote to Halleck, General Smith " is possessed of 
one of the clearest military heads in the army ; is very prac- 
tical and industrious. No man in the service is better quali- 
fied than he for our largest commands." 3 General Smith " is 
really one of the most efficient officers in service, readiest 
in expedients, and most skilful in the management of troops 
in action." 4 On the night of May 5th Butler debarked at 
Bermuda Hundred. The movement was a complete surprise 
to the Confederates. By mere chance General Hagood's 
South Carolina brigade was moving by rail to Richmond, 
when, on the 6th of May at Walthall Junction, between 
Petersburg and Richmond, they encountered a brigade thrown 
forward by Butler to seize the railroad at that point. The 
Confederates " jumped off the platform cars upon which they 
were borne, the [Union] brigade . . . was in view, some 
thousand yards off, across an open field, advancing in line of 
battle, and supported by artillery ... a brisk action ensued. 
The [Union brigade] made two direct attacks, and, after a 
second repulse, at nightfall withdrew." 5 " Thus were Peters- 

1 Grant to Meade, April 9, 1864, Personal Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 135. 

2 Grant to Butler, April 2, 1864, Butler's Book, p. 630 ; War Records, Serial 
No. 95, p. 15. 

3 Grant to Stanton, November 12, 1863, Chattanooga to Petersburg, p. 15. 

4 Grant to Halleck, July 1, 1864, ibid. p. 29. 
6 Roman, Beauregard, vol. ii. p. 552. 



350 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

burg and Richmond barely saved by the opportune presence 
and gallant conduct of Hagood's command. It was upon that 
occasion that General Butler's forces were baffled and beaten 
off in their attempt to seize the Richmond railroad above 
Petersburg." * " The authorities at Richmond were now in 
a state of great excitement. The enemy had been repulsed 
on the Richmond railroad, and, to all appearance, had aban- 
doned his original intention of investing Petersburg; but 
where he would next attempt to strike was the all-absorbing 
question." 2 At this juncture Beauregard had not yet arrived 
from Weldon ; nor were there 3,000 men all told south of 
Walthall Junction, or available for the defence of Petersburg. 
The key to the whole military situation was unprotected. 
" Meanwhile troops were hastily called for from all quarters," 
and on the 10th Beauregard arrived, with the first body of re- 
inforcements. The golden opportunity was rapidly passing. 
On the evening of the 9th Generals Gillmore and Smith, being 
then at Swift's Creek, about four miles north of Petersburg, 
united in a written communication to General Butler suggest- 
ing that the whole command should be directed on Petersburg 
instead of Richmond, as previously agreed. They claimed 
that " all the work of cutting the [railjroad, and perhaps cap- 
turing the city, can be accomplished in one day." Refusing 
even to consider the suggestion, General Butler, the same 
evening, returned a reply beginning as follows: — 

" Generals, — While I regret an infirmity of purpose which did not 
permit you to state to me, when I was personally present, the sug- 
gestion which you made in your written note, but left me to go to my 
head-quarters under the impression that another and far different 
purpose was advised by you, I shall not yield to the written sugges- 
tions, which imply a change of plan made within thirty minutes after 
I left you. Military affairs cannot be carried on, in my judgment, 
with this sort of vacillation. The information I have received from 
the Army of the Potomac convinces me that our demonstration should 
be toward Richmond, and I shall in no way order a crossing of the 
Appomattox for the purpose suggested in your note." 8 

The date of this correspondence (May 9) is important. The 
battle of the Wilderness had been fought on May 5th and 6th, 
that of Spottsylvania was to begin on May 10th, and not until 

1 Roman, Beauregard, vol. ii. p. 108. 2 Ibid. p. 199. 

3 War Records, Serial No. 68, p. 35. 



1905.] 



351 



the 12th was the famous assault made on Lee's salient. The 
Confederate army was hard pressed. To what extent at 
just this juncture would sudden tidings of the capture of 
Petersburg, and the consequent severing of his line of 
southern sea-coast communication, have affected Lee's mind 
and the entire strategic situation ? And it was just then that 
Butler, contemptuously and insolently ignoring the recom- 
mendations of his two subordinates, allowed Beauregard to 
establish himself at Petersburg, while the Army of the James 
made "a demonstration" toward Richmond! In his official 
report of the whole campaign Grant subsequently said of this 
" demonstration" that "the time thus consumed lost to us 
the benefit of the surprise and capture of Richmond and 
Petersburg, enabling, as it did, Beauregard to collect his 
loose forces in North and South Carolina, and bring them to 
the defence of those places." 1 The occasion was great, and 
Beauregard showed himself equal to it. Rapidly concentrat- 
ing his scattered and scanty command, he, on the 15th, 
assumed the offensive. The next day (16th) he attacked 
Butler at Drewry's Bluff. " Butler's army was driven back, 
hemmed in, and reduced to comparative impoteucy, though 
not captured. The danger threatening Richmond was, for the 
time being, averted." 2 

At that time the Army of the Potomac was fighting at 
Spottsj lvania fiercely and futilely, and not until June 3d, a 
fortnight later, did the slaughter of Cold Harbor occur. The 
great opportunity of May 9th, pointed out to Butler by his 
lieutenants, had been allowed wholly to escape ; Lee's rear 
and communications were secure ; Butler was safely " bottled 
up " ; the Army of the Potomac, sorely crippled, had sustained 
losses as heavy as they were unnecessary ; Grant's whole plan 
of campaign had gone to pieces. Had Butler on May 9th, 
correctly taking in the military situation, complied with the 
suggestion of his two corps commanders, Petersburg must 
have fallen into his hands; Lee would perforce have been 
compelled to fall back on Richmond ; the Cold Harbor assaults 
would not have occurred ; and all subsequent operations 
would have been other than they were. 

Prior to this, May 7th, General Butler had written a 

1 War Records, Serial No. 95, p. 19. 

2 Roman, Beauregard, vol. ii. p. 209. 



352 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



[Oct. 



letter marked " Confidential " to Senator Wilson of Massa- 
chusetts, then on the Senate Military Committee, beginning 
thus: " My Dear Sir: — I must take the responsibility of 
asking you to bring before the Senate at once the name of 
General Gillmore, and have his name rejected by your body." 
Nominated for promotion to the rank of Major-General, the 
nomination of General Gillmore was then pending. 1 Under 
such circumstances the state of affairs in the Army of the 
James not unnaturally became in May so unsatisfactory that 
General Halleck at the request of General Grant sent (May 
21st) Generals Meigs and Barnard to investigate. On the 
24th they gave it as their opinion that " an officer of military 
experience and knowledge [should be placed] in command. 
. . . General Butler . . . has not experience and training to 
enable him to direct and control movements in battle. . . . 
General Butler evidently desires to retain command in the field. 
If his desires must be gratified, withdraw Gillmore, place Smith 
in command of both corps under the supreme command of 
Butler. . . . You will thus have a command which will be a 
unit, and General Butler will probably be guided by Smith, 
and leave to him the suggestions and practical execution of 
army movements ordered. Success would be more certain 
were Smith in command untrammelled, and General Butler 
remanded to the administrative duties of the departments." 2 

Difficulties naturally suggested themselves to the adoption 
of the course thus recommended. General Gillmore was re- 
lieved of his command early in June, 3 and the ill-feeling 
between Butler and Smith culminated, June 21st, in a char- 
acteristic and extremely sharp correspondence, 4 as a result of 
which General Smith requested to be relieved of the com- 
mand of the Eighteenth Corps. Then followed one of the most 
extraordinary and inexplicable episodes of the war. Grant 
wrote (July 1) to Halleck, advising him of the situation. He 
said : " I regret the necessity of asking for a change of com- 
manders here, but General Butler, not being a soldier by 
education or experience, is in the hands of his subordinates 

1 Butler's Book, pp. 644, 1065. 

2 War Records, Serial No. 69, p. 178. 

3 Butler's Book, p. 679. 

4 War Records, Serial No. 81, pp. 299-301 ; From Chattanooga to Petersburg, 
pp. 28, 155, 186-188. 



1905.] MR. ItHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 353 

in the execution of all orders military." Grant, however, 
hesitated " to recommend his [Butler's] retirement." 2 This 
brought out a most suggestive reply (July 3) from Halleck. 
In it he said : " It was foreseen from the first that you would 
eventually find it necessary to relieve General B. on account 
of his total unfitness to command in the field, and his generally 
quarrelsome character." 2 The Chief of Staff then went on to 
discuss the several dispositions which might be made of But- 
ler, significantly pointing out the danger to be apprehended 
from " his talent at political intrigue, and his facilities for 
newspaper abuse." He finally suggested : " Why not leave 
General Butler in the local command of his department, in- 
cluding North Carolina, Norfolk, Fort Monroe, Yorktown, &c, 
and make a new army corps of the part of the Eighteenth 
under Smith?" The letter closed with a sentence indicative 
of the personal apprehension General Butler seemed to excite 
in the breasts of those put in any position antagonistic to him. 
The official Chief of Staff said : " As General Butler claims 
to rank me, I shall give him no orders wherever he may go, 
without the special direction of yourself or the Secretary 
of War." Three days later, July 6th, Grant wrote to Hal- 
leck : " Please obtain an order assigning the troops of the 
Department of Virginia and North Carolina serving in the 
field to the command of Maj. General W. F. Smith, and 
order Major General Butler, commanding department, to his 
head-quarters, Fortress Monroe." In accordance with this 
request, General Order No. 225 was at once issued. Curiously 
enough the original order, forwarded both to Butler and Smith, 3 
read that " Maj. Gen. Smith is assigned by the President to the 
command of the corps," etc. ; in the order as formally made 
public the words " by the President " do not appear. This 
order, though in conformity with the recommendation of 
Generals Meigs and Barnard of six weeks before (May 24), 
was highly objectionable to General Butler. Immediately 
on receipt of it at Bermuda Hundred he rode over to" the 
head-quarters of General Grant, and asked if " this was his 
act and his desire." Grant replied : " But I don't want 
this." Colonel Mordecai afterwards wrote : " Gen'l Butler 

1 War Records, Serial No. 81, p. 559. 

2 Ibid. p. 598. 

3 Butler's Book, p. 695 ; From Chattanooga to Petersburg, p. 33. 

45 



354 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

returned to camp about dusk, as I recall it, and, as he dis- 
mounted from his horse, remarked to a number of his staff 
officers who were near him, i Gentlemen, the order will be re- 
voked to-morrow.'" 1 Not only was the order revoked, but 
General Butler's field command was extended so as to include 
the Nineteenth Corps, while General Smith was " relieved from 
the command of the Eighteenth Army Corps, and [directed 
to] proceed to New York, and await further orders." 2 

As respects the details of what transpired at the interview 
above referred to, General James H. Wilson, whose relations 
at the time and subsequently were intimate with both General 
Grant and Smith, wrote in 1904 as follows, in that Memoir of 
" Baldy" Smith already referred to : — 

" It must be confessed that Grant's explanations of his later attitude 
towards Smith, and of the reasons for relieving him and restoring Butler 
to command, were neither full nor always stated in the same terms. 
He ignores the subject entirely in his memoirs, but it so happens that 
Mr. Dana, then Assistant Secretary of War, was sitting with General 
Grant when Butler, clad in full uniform, called at headquarters, and 
was admitted. Dana describes Butler as entering the General's pres- 
ence with a flushed face and a haughty air, holding out the order reliev- 
ing him from command in the field, and asking : ' General Grant, did 
you issue this order ? ' To which Grant in a hesitating manner replied : 
' No, not in that form.' Dana, perceiving at this point that the subject 
under discussion was an embarrassing one, and that the interview was 
likely to be unpleasant, if not stormy, at once took his leave, but the 
impression made upon his mind by what he saw while present was that 
Butler had in some measure ' cowed ' his commanding officer. What 
further took place neither General Grant nor Mr. Dana has ever said. 
Butler's Book, however, contains what purports to be a full account 
of the interview, but it is to be observed that it signally fails to recite 
any circumstance of an overbearing nature." 3 

The disposition of commands made in Special Order No. 62, 
above referred to, continued in force until the Wilmington 
expedition and the famous powder-boat explosion of the fol- 
lowing December. During the months intervening much had 
happened. July, 1864, came about during one of the most 
depressing, if not the most depressing, period of the whole 

1 Chattanooga to Petersburg, p. 189. 

2 Special Orders No. 62, July 19, 1864 ; Butler's Book, p. 1087. 

3 Life and Services of W. F. Smith, pp. 112, 113. 



1905.] MR. RHODES'S FIFTH VOLUME. 356 

struggle. Grant's movement against Richmond and Lee's 
army had failed, after excessive loss of life ; Sherman's move- 
ment against Atlanta had not yet succeeded; Washington was 
threatened from the valley of the Shenandoah ; a presidential 
election was immediately impending ; the country at large was 
in a state of extreme discouragement ; the administration and 
the generals in the field stood in manifest fear of Butler's 
14 talent for political intrigue and his facilities for newspaper 
abuse." Six months later the whole aspect of affairs had 
undergone a complete and, indeed, almost magical change. 
Grant, it is true, was still held in firm check before Petersburg : 
but Sherman had marched through Georgia and captured 
Savannah ; Sheridan had won his victories in the valley ; Lin- 
coln had been re-elected ; the Confederacy was believed to be in 
extremities. Under these circumstances that might safely be 
done which in July had seemed to involve a political risk. 
Accordingly, on January 4, 1865, Grant wrote to the Secre- 
tary of War : " I am constrained to request the removal of 
Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler from the command of the Depart- 
ment of Virginia and North Carolina. I do this with reluc- 
tance, but the good of the service requires it. In my absence 
General Butler necessarily commands, and there is a lack of 
confidence felt in his military ability, making him an unsafe 
commander for a large army. His administration of the af- 
fairs of his department is also objectionable." * Three days 
later (January 7) the following was issued from the War 
Department : — 

"General Orders No. 1. 

" I. By direction of the President of the United States, Maj. Gen. 
Benjamin F. Butler is relieved from the command of the Department 
of North Carolina and Virginia. . . . 

"II. Major-General Butler on being relieved will repair to Lowell, 
Mass., and report by letter to the Adjutant- General of the Army." 

Of General Butler as a field officer in active military service 
General W. F. Smith wrote to General Grant, after asking to 
be relieved from further service in the Department of Virginia 
and North Carolina : " I want simply ... to ask you how you 
can place a man in command of two army corps, who is as 
helpless as a child on the field of battle and as visionary as 

i War Record, Serial No. 96, p. 29. 



356 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

an opium-eater in council?" 1 Of the same commander, Ad- 
miral David D. Porter wrote to the Secretary of the Navy, 
December 29, 1864, immediately after the withdrawal of the 
first expedition against Wilmington, subsequently to the 
powder-boat fiasco of December 24 : " If this temporary 
failure succeeds in sending General Butler into private life, it 
is not to be regretted." 2 

Mr. Charles C. Smith communicated the following remarks 
on the Rev. Dr. Pierce's Memoirs, with the accompanying 
extracts. 

At several meetings of the Society during the last twenty 
years I have communicated selections from the manuscript 
Memoirs of Rev. Dr. John Pierce of Brookline, from 1809 to 
1849 a member of the Society, which were given to us by his 
last will, and came into our possession nearly half a century 
ago. 3 These selections were received with favor, and the wish 
has been expressed several times that further selections might 
be printed. Accordingly, during the summer vacation I have 
been carefully through the volumes to see just how far this 
might be desirable, and whether one or more volumes of Col- 
lections might not be made, to follow the volumes relating to 
the eighteenth century recently published. I am sorry to say 
that the hope that this could be done has been disappointed ; 
and my examination has fully confirmed the decided and em- 
phatic judgment of our predecessors, that a publication of the 
whole or even a large part of the Memoirs ought not to be 
attempted. Among the reasons which led to this opinion was, 
no doubt, the fact that much which Dr. Pierce recorded was 
not within his own knowledge, but was based on information 
received from others and afterward found to be incorrect, as 
he noted in the margin of his Memoirs. Added to this was 
probably the not less obvious fact that the " Memoirs " was in 

1 Chattanooga to Petersburg, p. 37 ; War Records, Serial No. 81, p. 595. 

2 Butler's Book, p. 1123. 

3 See 2 Proceedings, vol. iii. pp. 40-52, "Journey to Providence and New 
Haven, 1795 " ; vol. v. pp. 167-263, " Some Notes on the Commencements at 
Harvard University, 1803-1848"; vol. ix. pp. 110-143, "Some Notes on the Anni- 
versary Meetings of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Alpha of Massachusetts, 1803- 
1843""; ibid., pp. 143-157, "President Kirkland" ; vol. x. pp. 392-403, " Anniver- 
saries at Plymouth, 1820 and 1845"; 7 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. v. pp. 392-394 n., 
u Character of Rev. Eliphalet Porter, D.D." 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 357 

no sense a diary or journal, but was rather a commonplace 
book and a journal combined. No part of it can have been 
written at the time to which the entry refers, but in the form 
In which it now exists it was copied from notes made at an 
earlier period, and not always correctly copied, or was written 
largely trom memory. In it are numerous anecdotes of Amer- 
icans or Englishmen, many of which are printed elsewhere ; 
copies of letters which he had received or written ; documents 
relating to church troubles, mainly from printed pamphlets ; 
church covenants ; characters of deceased classmates or minis- 
ters, not always sympathetic in tone ; accounts of temperance 
meetings and celebrations; long classified lists of persons 
whom he saw on public occasions which it would not be of 
interest to perpetuate in print ; and even sermons copied at 
length from the original manuscripts. To this latter class 
belong eighteen or nineteen of his own sermons, 1 one by Rev. 
Leonard Withington of Newburyport, one by Rev. Dr. Osgood 
of Medford, one by Rev. Mr. Motte of Boston, one by an un- 
named minister of Washington, D. C, one by his son-in-law, 
Rev. Thomas B. Fox, and two by Rev. Dr. Channing. 2 Dr. 
Pierce was a most assiduous attendant at the Thursday Lecture 
in Boston, and he often left other meetings that he might hear 
this sermon. He was present at the lecture more than eighteen 
hundred times, and of many of the discourses he has given 
abstracts, usually very short and covering only the heads of 
discourse or detached phrases which had interested him. 3 He 
also attended one hundred and forty-one ordinations or instal- 
lations, — " 77 on Council ; 64 not on Council ; 45 in Boston; 
96 elsewhere." Of the services on these occasions he has 
given more or less full accounts, carefully noting how many 
minutes were occupied by each part, and whether the prayers 
were in his opinion " devout and appropriate " or not. For a 
generation which attaches much less importance to sermons than 
did our grandfathers these meagre reports would hardly tend 

1 A manuscript volume of early sermons by Dr. Pierce, 1800-1811, is in the 
"Waterston library. 

2 One of Dr. Channing's sermons was preached after the death of Miss Anna 
Cabot Lowell, some of whose letters are printed in 2 Proceedings, vol. xviii. pp. 
302-317. It is a very good specimen of Dr. Channing's pulpit discourses, but 
does not contain any biographical details or strictly personal references. 

3 It is a tradition among the oldest members of the Society that noon was 
fixed for the hour of the Society's meetings in order to accommodate those 
members who wished to attend the Thursday Lecture. 



358 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

to edification. On the other hand, though he was a member 
of this Society for forty years, and our records show that he 
was very constant in his attendance at the meetings, there is 
not one word about what was here said or done. In the 
same year in which he was made a member of this Society he 
was chosen a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, and he is equally reticent as to what took place at 
their meetings. 

Dr. Pierce comprised his Memoirs in eighteen small quarto 
volumes, of about five hundred pages each. Included in this 
enumeration is one volume lettered " Memorabilia," of which 
only a part is in his own hand, and of which a large part con- 
sists of blank leaves. To many of the volumes is prefixed a 
title-page, — " Memoirs By John Pierce, V Congregational 
Minister of Brookline, Massachusetts. . . . 4 Historia, quoquo 
modo scripta, delectat.' Pliny." To this Dr. Pierce added on the 
title-page of Vol. I. New Series, two other mottoes, — "Parvum 
parva docent ; sed inest sua gratia parvis." " ' Pleraque eorum, 
quce referam, parva forsitan et levia memoriter videri, non 
nescius sum.' Tacitus." At the beginning of that volume 
Dr. Pierce wrote as follows : — 

The origin of these Memoirs is the following : 

I began while member of Harvard University to write certain memo- 
randa. The taste for this species of writing I probably inherited from 
my maternal ancestors by the name of Blake. My great-grandfather 
James Blake wrote a minute history of Dorchester, his native town, 
which I have transcribed in my family records. 1 He also left a manu- 
script volume containing a survey and projections of the various farms 
in Dorchester. 

After taking minutes more or less particular of passing events in 
sheets stitched together, I procured a bound volume, and began on 1 
January, 1806, to make a more formal record than I had before at- 
tempted. Proceeding some way, it occurred to me that I would tran- 
scribe into the same volume what I had written on loose papers, beginning 
with the week of anniversaries in Boston in 1803, so that my first ten 
volumes extend over a period of precisely forty years. Beyond this 
period I never expected to proceed. But though on the borders of 
three score years and ten, as my health remains so firm, I have con- 
cluded to prolong my Memoirs so long as God shall continue the ability 
for such a service. 

1 No. Two of Collections of the Dorchester Antiquarian & Histor. Socy, down 
to 1750. First published in Boston by David Clapp, Jr. in 1816. — Marginal 
Note by Rev. Dr. Pierce. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 359 

I intend that all these volumes, lettered on the back Memoirs, 
shall be deposited by my executor or administrator, be they more or 
fewer, in the Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society. My 
reasons are that this is the place expressly designed for such depos- 
ites, where they will be kept most safely and can be consulted most 
conveniently. Were they left to my family, it is probable that they 
would ere long be scattered, defaced, and lost. But in a public library 
where no manuscripts are allowed to be taken away they stand the best 
chance of preservation. 

These Memoirs are not such as I could desire, being written without 
alterations or amendments as the events which they relate transpired. 
I doubt not that many errors may be detected, and that many of the 
records may savor of the prejudices and partial judgments of their 
writer. But such as they are, they are bequeathed without reserve to 
the Massachusetts Historical Society by one of its devoted members. 

John Pierce. 
3 June, 1843. 

At the beginning of the last volume, " Memorabilia," the 
contents of which are of a very miscellaneous character, is the 
following memorandum : — 

After having by Will bequeathed my Memoirs to the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, it was suggested to me by a friend that without some 
special provision they would be liable to abuse by unauthorized persons 
resorting thither, transcribing and garbling some portions, and pub- 
lishing them in a way which might possibly do injury to my honest 
intentions and hurt the feelings of some survivors of my family. Ac- 
cordingly I sought an interview with the Hon. James Savage, President 
of the Society, who prepared for my security from such perversions the 
following paper. 

Paper prepared by Hon. James Savage for Pierce's Memoirs. 

Brookline, 27 April, 1849. 
The Rev. John Pierce of this town having this day expressed to me 
his affection towards the Massachusetts Historical Society, of which he 
is one of the earliest members, and mentioned that he had provided in 
his last Will for the destination of certain volumes of manuscript Me- 
moirs, 18 or more in number, unto said Society's Library, one of the 
rules of which he knew was that no manuscript could be allowed to 
go from the room of said Library, and yet he felt some anxiety lest 
an unwise curiosity in visitors at the Library, or in members of said 
Society, should be indulged by copying & publishing any trifling anec- 
dote or reflection upon some person or transaction that might stand well 
enough in its general connection with the whole matter, but give offence 



360 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

or raise misapprehension when taken singly, I therefore, as President 
of said Society, do faithfully promise that the said Society shall and 
will either pass an order or vote that no extract in writing shall be 
permitted to be taken from either of said volumes by any member of 
said Society, or visitor at said Library, within the period of four years 
from the delivery of the said volumes at the said Library by the Execu- 
tor of said last Will, or that in default thereof I will receive the said 
volumes, and not permit them to be seen by any body nor read any 
part thereof during the said term of time. 1 

James Savage. 

While it would be undesirable to print any considerable 
part of the Memoirs in the Collections, it is true that in the 
volumes there are many things from which a selection may 
from time to time be made for insertion in the Proceedings ; 
but as Dr. Pierce had a great fondness for gossip, matters not 
within his own knowledge ought always to be omitted. In 
many instances a censorious tone finds expression in the written 
record which, it is believed, was never noticed in personal in- 
tercourse. Without a spark of genius, with little imagination 
or sentiment, with no eloquence in speech or writing, — a plain 
" matter-of-fact person," as he was accustomed to describe 
himself, — he was universally known and loved. One who 
knew him well, and whose characterization of him I just now 
adopted, wrote : " We suppose that there was hardly a man 
in Massachusetts whose person was known to so many in- 
dividuals in the State." 2 

In the Memoirs are some incidental references to the His- 
torical Society which are worth copying. In a notice of the 
Hon. Thomas L. Winthrop, Dr. Pierce writes : — 

1 Dr. Pierce died August 24, 1849. After his death the volumes, by permis- 
sion of the Society, remained in the custody of his widow until her death. They 
were received at the Library of the Society in February, 1859. 

2 Eor a well-considered and just estimate of Dr. Pierce, see an article, by 
Rev. Dr. George Putnam, in the Christian Examiner, vol. xlvii. pp. 447- 
455. See also Rev. Dr. Andrew P. Peabody's " Harvard Graduates whom I have 
known,'' pp. 27-41. Dr. Pierce's peculiarities were the occasion of much innocent 
mirth among his ministerial brethren. When quite a young man I went to 
Brookline to the ordination of his colleague. In coming into Boston in the 
omnibus, it so happened that I sat next to the Rev. Dr. Parkman, father of our 
late eminent associate. In the course of a pretty general conversation Dr. Park- 
man with a twinkle in his eye quoted Paul's Epistle to Titus, as applicable 
to Dr. Pierce, — " But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, 
and strivings about the law ; for they are unprofitable and vain." 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 361 

" He has been President of the American Antiquarian Society for 
nine years ; and since 1835, when Judge John Davis resigned the 
office he has been President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 
He has been generous in his donations to these and other literary and 
benevolent institutions of the day. The meetings of the Historical 
Society he uniformly attended ; and every month was in the habit of 
inviting the members present at the meetings to a most sumptuous 
entertainment in his own house." 

At that time the membership was limited to sixty, and the 
average attendance was about twelve or fifteen. I am not 
aware that any of Mr. Winthrop's predecessors had set a pre- 
cedent for this large hospitality, and it has not been followed 
by any of his successors. 

Under date of May 29, 1843, Dr. Pierce writes : — 

At XI A. M. the Massachusetts Historical Society walked in proces- 
sion from their rooms in Tremont street to the First Church. 1 Present, 
John Q. Adams, Nathan Appleton, Charles F. Adams, George Ban- 
croft, Josiah Bartlett, John Oodman, D.D., John Davis, Isaac P. 
Davis, George E. Ellis, Joseph B. Felt, Dr. Francis, S. P. Gardner, 
F. C. Gray, Wm. Gibbs, Samuel Hoar, Dr. Jenks, Dr. Lowell, Dr. 
Lamson, Wm. P. Lunt, N. Mitchell, John Pickering, Wm. H. Prescott, 
J. Pierce, Pres. Quincy, S. Ripley, James Savage, Jared Sparks, 
George Ticknor, Charles W. Upham, Joseph Willard, Joseph E. 
Worcester, D. A. White, R. C. Winthrop, Alexander Young? 34. 
These were accompanied by delegates from other Historical Societies. 
This was the second Centennial Celebration of the confederation of the 
New England colonies. 

We entered the church precisely at XI a. m. j 

I. Voluntary on the Organ. 

II. Prayer by Dr. Frothingham, of 8 minutes, well adapted to 
the occasion. 

Psalm 107, New England version, 1640. 

" Your thanks unto the Lord express ; 
Because that good is he ; 
Because his loving-kindnesses 
Last to eternity. 

1 The First Church was then in Chauncy Place. 

2 Following the plan adopted in the Triennial Catalogues of Harvard College, 
in which the names of ministers were printed in italics, Dr. Pierce underscored 
the names of the clerical members of the Society who were present. The 
names of Mr. Sparks and Mr. Upham were not underscored. 

46 



362 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

" So say the Lord's redeemed, whom bought 
He hath from enemies' hands ; 
And from the East and West hath brought, 
From South and Northern lands. 

" Then did they to Jehovah cry, 

When they were in distress ; 
Who did them set at liberty 
Out of their anguishes. 

" O that men praise Jehovah would 
For his great goodness then, 
And for his wonders manifold 
Unto the sons of men ! " 

III. Address by John Quincy Adams, of one hour and forty-three 
minutes. It was an elaborate production, read without glasses, many 
parts of which were uttered with great energy. 

Psalm 44 of the same version was sung to St. Martin's. 

"We with our ears have heard, O God; 
Our fathers have us told, 
What works thou wroughtest in their days, 
Even in the times of old. 

" For by their sword they did not get 
The land's possession ; 
Nor was it their own arm that did 
Work their salvation. 

" But thy right hand, thine arm also, 
Thy countenance's light; 
Because that of thine own good will, 
Thou didst in them delight." 

The benediction by Dr. Frothingham. 

The house was respectably filled ; the galleries principally by ladies. 
The broad-aisle pews were reserved for the Society and its guests. 

There was no dinner ; but in the evening the members of the Society 
and a large number of others met at the mansion of the President, 
Hon. James Savage, where I was introduced to several members of 
kindred Societies. 1 

Dr. Pierce was indefatigable in his attendance at the Exhi- 
bitions in Harvard College and at the visitations to the Divinity 
School ; but his notes on them have far less interest and value 
than his notes on the Harvard Commencements and on the 

1 Witli this account it may be interesting to compare that given by Mr. 
Adams himself. See Memoirs of J. Q. Adams, vol. x. pp. 378, 379. 



1905.] THE EEV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 363 

•Phi Beta Kappa Anniversaries. His account of the grad- 
uating exercises of the Divinity School in 1836 is, however, 
worth reproducing on account of three of the class, George E. 
Ellis, Theodore Parker, and John S. Dwight, the latter of 
whom did so much for the advancement of musical taste in 
this community. 

Wednesday, 20 July, at the XX th annual visitation of the Divinity 
School, at Cambridge, every one of which I have attended. The day 
was fine. 

The exercises commenced precisely at X with a prayer of 13 min- 
utes by Prof. Palfrey. 

Dissertations. 

I. The imputed tendency of Biblical studies to impair the devotional 
spirit, by Wm. Silsbee, of Salem, 21 min. 

II. The Gnostic philosophy, and allusions to it in the New Testa- 
ment. Theodore Parker of Lexington. 19 min. 

Mr. Parker has had no collegiate education ; yet his attainments in 
the School have been quite respectable. He has made such advances 
in the Hebrew language as to teach it in College. His dissertation 
evinced a thorough knowledge of his subject, written with purity, and 
delivered with simplicity. 

III. The preacher's estimation of his work, expressed in this line of 
Herbert, " The pulpit is his joy and theme." Abiel Abbot Livermore, 
Wilton, N. H. 21 min. 

This was a sound composition, in exact resemblance of the style of 
the eminent divine to whom he refers. 

An anthem was then sung by the students, "O praise God in his 
holiness." 

IV. The connexion of the Christian doctrine with Christian moral- 
ity. Oliver Capen Everett. 25. 

V. The history, character, and uses of the Latin Vulgate, and its 
influence on the formation of the received text of the N. T. Geo. 
Edward Ellis. 21. 

This was an ingenious discussion of the subject, written with much 
simplicity and perspicuity, and delivered in a very appropriate manner. 

VI. The proper character of poetry & music for public worship. 
John Sullivan Dwight. 33. 

This was a charming composition and happily delivered. Some of 
his positions were perhaps exaggerated, and some might admit a dif- 
ference of opinion. But as a whole it was a highly acceptable 
performance. 

Anthem, "Holy, holy, holy L. G.of Sabaoth." 



364 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

VII. The duty of a pastor in respect to the intellectual improve- 
ment of his charge. Richard Thomas Austin. 24. 

The least meritorious production of the day. 

VIII. The encouragements of the ministry at the present time. 
Samuel Page Andrews. 20. 

Hymn, ft Father of light, conduct my feet," &c. 

The services as a whole were better than common. Silsbee, Liver- 
more, Everett, Ellis, D wight, Andrews are Cambridge scholars. 
Austin was of Bowdoin College. He has lately bad his name 
altered from Seiders to Austin, the name of the lady to whom 
he is engaged. Parker, though not from any College, yet has 
made improvements which may well put to the blush many who 
are thus educated. 

This was the fullest audience ever witnessed on a similar occasion. 
The company at dinner was the largest I have witnessed. At table 
Professor Chase, of the Baptist Institution, Newton, asked the blessing. 
Rev. Dr. Gray returned thanks. 

It grieved me to see so much wine provided, and to observe so many 
clergymen drink so freely of it. When will this stumbling block to 
the temperance reformation be frowned into darkness ! 

At a little before IV the Philanthropic Society held their annual 
meeting, Oliver Capen Everett in the chair. Dr. Ware, Jr., opened 
the meeting with an appropriate prayer of 3 minutes. Sears, Secretary, 1 
read a report, by which it appeared that during the year the Society 
has holden 19 meetings and made 13 reports. 

I. On Sabbath Schools. The great obstacles to their usefulness 
were considered to be the immature and mechanical manner in which 
they were conducted. 

II. On Mobs. The principal causes are uninformed popular sym- 
pathies ; the natural tendencies of Associations. 

It has for several years been popular since Dr. Channing gave 
the cue to exclaim against Associations, when most of the good done at 
Cambridge is by means of Associations, and at the very time when 
these Cambridge declaimers are associating to effect their purposes. 
In a word they have formed an Association to put down Associations. 
In like manner, since Dr. Walker has been riding his hobby of our 
spiritual nature, this is the fashionable topic with the young men of the 
School. 

III. On Slavery, in which it was maintained that there is no neces- 
sary incompatibility between Colonization and Abolition principles. 

IV. On School Teachers. 

V. On Missions. This must have been a somewhat speculative 

1 Edmund H. Sears of the Junior Class — a member of the Historical Society 
from 1857 to 1876. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 365 

subject to a School which does nothing toward foreign missions, and 
whose pupils have a great dread of settling far from home, even in 
their own country, and for the most part desert their border situations 
whenever they can find an opening near the place of their nativity. 

VI. On the Temperance Reform. This must have received but a 
feeble impulse from supporters who will not relinquish their wine, 
cider, strong beer, and other intoxicating drinks. 

VII. On Catholicism. Catholicity would have been a less equivocal 
and more descriptive term. 

VIII. On Swedenborgianism. It was summarily decided by these 
young doctors that the miracles in the system are not properly sup- 
ported ; and that the discriminating doctrines are not sustained by 
reason or scripture. 

IX. Associations, — dangerous ! ! ! & yet nothing great or good 
effected without them ; opposed also by a formal Association ! ! ! ! 

X. On Physical Education. 

XI. On Theology in Germany. Rationalists & Mystics. 

XII. On Esthetics. 

XIII. On Prisons. 

To this report succeeded discussions. 

I. The subject proposed was on the means of increasing sympathy 
among Christians. 

1. The Rev. A. B. Muzzey of Cambridgeport spoke 10 minutes. 
He despaired of union with the Orthodox, because they would not 

allow Unitarians to be Christians. He thought that the best way to 
convince them of their error was to exhibit the Christian life and spirit. 

2. Rev. Joshua Himes spoke 16 minutes, so scatteringly that I could 
gather nothing of what he said'. 

3. Rev. J. B. Thompson 1 of Salem spoke 12 minutes, with as little 
point. 

4. Mr. Fanning of the Christian denomination, Nashville, Tenn., 
spoke 15 minutes altogether in general. 

II. A second topic was proposed, — What is wanting to render 
public religious services more effectual ? 

After waiting some time for some one to arise the Rev. Mr. Bab- 
bidge of Pepperrell spoke 11 minutes on the former subject. He 
dwelt principally on the need of sympathy which clergymen in his 
situation experienced, and urged the necessity of extending sympathy 
toward them. 

1 This is one of the instances, not uncommon in the later volumes of the 
Memoirs, in which Dr. Pierce made a mistake in a name. It should be James W. 
Thompson. He was a graduate of Brown University and of the Harvard 
Divinity School, and was successively settled at South Natick, Salem, and 
Jamaica Plain. He was held in high esteem by his contemporaries. 



366 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

After a dead silence for some time Dr. Ware, Jr., arose and moved 
to this effect, that gentlemen desired to speak on such occasions con- 
sider it their duty to express their sentiments. Dr. Lowell objected 
on the ground that the persons to whom application was made might 
have special reasons for declining. While Dean Palfrey was pre- 
paring to modify the motion, Dr. Walker of Charlestown arose and 
suggested that the subject proposed was not the most suitable. Much 
had been said about union. He believed that it could not be forced, 
and that the only union worth anything came unasked, unsought, by 
the voluntary agreement of kindred souls. 

I was never more impressed, at the whole of this meeting, with the 
conviction that it is a most awkward thing to speak on any subject 
merely because you are desired to say something, and not because 
you have anything to say. I should pronounce the whole a failure. 

[Here follow the names of 71 persons present on this occasion.] 

In 20 years 155 have left the Divinity School. Of these 109 have 
been ordained. Present incumbents 59 in the State + 23 out do. = 82. 
The past year 5 ordained in the State + 1 out do. = 6. Nowbelong 
to Mass. Conv. Cong, ministers 56. There have been dismissed who 
yet preach, 17. Candidates from the School, not been set d 25. Left 
preaching from various causes, 15. There have died ^ T nearly of the 
whole, viz. 14. Of these were 5 who had been ordained. From the 
School there has been Swedeuborgian 1 ; Episcopal 1 ; Orthodox 1 ; 
Universalist 1 ; and 1 has been insane. 

Present candidates who have not been ordained: 

[Here follow 26 names.] 

This afternoon I desire to communicate the account of a jour- 
ney to Washington made by Dr. Pierce in 1812, a few months 
after the declaration of war between Great Britain and the 
United States. It is a characteristic example of his method in 
recording his personal recollections. 

December, 1812. Journey to Washington, 

Having been urgently invited by my brother Lewis Tappan to ac- 
company him to the city of Washington, after mature deliberation I 
consented, and accordingly left Brookline 1 Dec. on Tuesday, and went 
into Boston. I spent the night at Boyden's, an old, wretched tavern 
near the Market, with a view of being near the stage, supposing that it 
started from this place. The accommodations were worse than I ever 
found before. No wonder if a foreigner, tarrying over night in Boston 
at such a place as this, should give the town a bad character for filthiness 
and disturbance in its publick houses. 






1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 367 

2 Dec, Wednesday. Started before daylight in the Albany stage. 
Had one agreeable companion, who accompanied me to Leicester only. 
We breakfasted at Eaton's in Framingham, dined at Sykes's in Worces- 
ter, and lodged at Draper's in Brookfield. Nothing remarkable oc- 
curred this day. I could not but observe, and be unpleasantly affected 
with the sight, that at almost every tavern throughout my journey 
and homeward there were great numbers of petty officers and soldiers 
belonging to the new army who were loitering away their time, and 
who appeared to care for nothing but to drink their grog and to pursue 
some foolish sports which might whirl away their time. Were the 
cause unquestionably good for which they are employed, there would 
be less ground of anxiety. But when I could not but consider them 
as employed to further the views of the grand tyrant of Europe my 
heart sickened at the contemplation. 

3 Dec, Thursday. Breakfasted at Mellen's in Belchertown, and ar- 
rived a little past noon at my father Tappan's in Northampton, 1 
where I joined my brother Lewis, and where we were allowed an hour 
by the stage driver to dine with a family party. My daughter Elisa- 
beth was rejoiced to see me, and I could not but regret so short 
an interview. We passed the night at Mills's in Worthington, an 
uncommonly neat and fine tavern. 

4 Dec, Friday. We went to Pittsfield to breakfast in a sleigh. 
The towns through which we passed were for the most part very hilly. 
At Pittsfield tried in vain to find my old friend Rev. Wm. Allen. 2 
After breakfast passed on in plain sight of Lebanon Springs, over the 
worst hill which I ever encountered, to Nassau, where we dined at a 
tavern kept by John Stoddard, a broken merchant from Northampton. 
Our next stage was to Albany, where we arrived a little after sunset, 
passing through Greenbush, in full sight of the quarters of Gen. Dear- 
born's army. We put up at Gregory's, a famous hotel in Albany. In 
the evening we found the lodgings of brother Arthur Tappan and wife 
with whom we had a very pleasant interview. 

5 Dec, Saturday. We walked over the city. The streets were 
very dirty. We observed great numbers of old Dutch houses with 
their ends toward the street. The Yankees, however, outnumber 
them at present. We visited Ames's portrait room, where we saw the 
likenesses of several of their most respectable characters. We went 
to Cook's reading room, a convenient place to read papers and consult 

1 Dr. Pierce was twice married. His second wife, to whom he was married in 
1802, was Lucy, daughter of Benjamin Tappan of Northampton. 

2 Rev. William Allen, D.D., was born in Pittsfield Jan. 2, 1784, graduated at 
Harvard College in 1802, settled at Pittsfield in 1810, and died at Northampton 
July 16, 1868. He was successively President of Dartmouth College and Presi- 
dent of Bowdoin College, but will be longest remembered for his well-known 
Biographical Dictionary. 



368 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

maps. We here drank waters from the Ballstown and Congress 
springs. We observed a handsome new Dutch Reformed Church. 
I called on Judge Kent with a letter from Pres. Kirkland. He 
received me with great familiarity. He is a very plain, social, 
sensible, unaffected man. We saw Gov. Tompkins's house and 
Gen. Stephen Van Renssalaer, the patroon's, a little out of the 
city. 

6 Dec, Lord's Day. Went in the morning to hear the Rev. Dr. 
Bradford. His clerk began the service by reading the twentieth 
chapter of Exodus, and then reading a psalm which he sang. Then 
Dr. B. prayed 15 minutes. I remarked this peculiarity among his 
people (Dutch Reformed) that they all sat during prayer, on what 
principle I cannot conceive. He preached a plain, sensible discourse 
from Acts xi. 26, " The disciples were called Christians first at 
Antioch." He is a tall, elegant man, a little short of 30 years old. 
He was the son of the Rev. Eben. Bradford of Rowley, and was edu- 
cated at Providence, R. I. His mother is sister to Dr. Green, formerly 
of Philadelphia, now Pres. of Princeton College, by whom he was 
educated for the pulpit. In describing Christians he represented that 
they must believe in the divinity of Christ and in the atonement ; but 
in which of the numerous senses adopted by professed Christians he 
did not designate. In one part of his sermon he inveighed against 
party names and against superstition and bigotry. His sermon was 
38 minutes long. His style was for the most part pure ; but he used 
in prayer the terms sin-hating, sin-forgiving. In the afternoon we 
went to the old Presbyterian church, to hear Dr. Neil. Gamaliel S. 
Olds, a candidate, preached for him from Psalm xcvii. 1, "The Lord 
reigneth," &c. He was stiff and awkward in his manner; but he gave 
a sensible discourse on divine sovereignty. In the evening I called 
on Dr. B. and took tea with him. He then accompanied me to Dr. 
Neil's. At nine o'clock in the evening the steamboat unexpectedly 
arrived from New York. We had despaired of its coming on account 
of the cold weather, and had taken passage in the stage, but our ad- 
vance money was refunded. 

7 Dec , Monday. In the morning we called with sister Frances on 
Mr. Bleeker, her relation, and on Chancellor Lansing. At 2\ p. m. we 
started in the Paragon steamboat for Hudson. At 1\ we arrived at 
Athens opposite to Hudson. We spent the night in the boat. It is 
175 feet long, and has fine rooms and elegant accommodations. We 
were now 30 miles from Albany. 

8 Dec, Tuesday. We passed over to Hudson city ; the east side 
of the river, where we put up at Gen. Pepoon's tavern. Soon the 
Rev. Johu Chester called, and engaged me to preach an evening 
lecture. We accordingly went and took tea with him, and in the 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 369 

evening I preached to a considerable congregation, from 1 Tim. i. 11, 
" The glorious gospel of the blessed God." 

9 Dec, Wednesday. We walked over the city, examined the 
Academy ; went up to the top of the high hill on which it stands, where 
we had a fine view of the Catskill mountains, Claverak, &c. We 
were introduced to Mr. Grosvenor, member elect of Congress, Mr. 
Elisha Williams, an elegant man and celebrated lawyer. I called also 
on John Swift, formerly from Roxbury, now deacon & elder of Mr. 
C.'s church. This morning there was great firing on receiving the 
news of the capture of the Macedonian by Com. Decatur in the 
United States. 

At 2£ we started again in the steamboat, wind strong at N. W., 
having about 30 fellow passengers. It was pleasant to catch a view 
of elegant buildings and cultivated lands as we passed by them. We, 
however, went by some of the most interesting places by night. 

10 Dec, Thursday, at G^, by daylight, we arrived at the city of 
New York. Its appearance as we approached was quite interesting. 
The spires of churches, of which there are nearly 40, presented a 
delightful spectacle among the numerous houses and other buildings 
which arose to view. We were of course but 16 hours in sailing 130 
miles. 

We put up at Mrs. Keese's, a genteel house on Broadway, corner of 
Wall Street. After breakfast we called at the reading room ; and I 
delivered letters. Called on Rev. Timo. Alden. 1 We visited the City 
Hall, a magnificent building. I was informed that it will cost a million 
of dollars. We saw the Mayor, De Witt Clinton, and two Aldermen 
trying criminals for petty offences. We went to the Museum, where 
were a variety of curiosities, natural and artificial. We walked round 
the Battery, bounded by North and by East river. It was truly 
melancholy to see the immense quantities of shipping lie useless at the 
wharves. They appeared not unlike to vast forests through which the 
fire had passed and left naked trunks of trees, the sad memorials of 
what thay once were. 

p. m., we went into every apartment in the City Hall. The Com- 
mon Council chamber is one of the most elegant rooms in the known 
world. Bp. Cheverus informed me, on my return, that he never saw 
its equal in France or England. Round the room are hung elegant 
likenesses of most of their Governours. 

1 Rev. Timothy Alden, Jr., from May, 1808, to October, 1809, Librarian of 
the Historical Society, was born in Yarmouth, Mass., Aug. 28, 1771, graduated 
at Harvard College in 1794, in the class after Dr. Pierce, and died at Pittsburg, 
Penn., July 5, 1839. He was at one time President of Alleghany College, at 
Meadville, and is well known for his collection of American Epitaphs. See 
Proceedings, vol. i. passim; Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. ii. 
pp. 449-454. 

47 



370 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

1 1 Dec, Friday. In the morning we rode to the State's prison, 
about 2 miles from our lodgings. It is a large and convenient place, 
surrounded by high and thick walls, on the top of which are sentry 
boxes at each corner, and sentries constantly on guard with arms. 
There were at this time five hundred prisoners. Various kinds of 
labour were going on. There was a general appearance of industry, 
neatness, and good order. In their chapel the clergymen of the city 
officiate in turns. I called on the Rev. William Harris, D.D., Presi- 
dent of Columbia College, but he was from home. We next visited 
Paff's gallery of portraits, where we were highly gratified. The head 
of Grotius by Vandyke was truly interesting. 

In the evening we attended the Rev. Dr. Mason's lecture pre- 
paratory to Communion. 1 His house, which is new, is singularly 
constructed. There is in front a large spacious porch, the width of the 
house. From this porch they enter upon the lower floor of the church 
by two doors which are in the direction of the side aisles. The pulpit 
is exactly in the middle between these two doors, and the back of it 
is on the porch. The pews, which are oblong, are on semi-circular 
arches, the centre of the pulpit being the radius. As you recede 
from the pulpit the rows of the pews gradually rise, till the last row 
becomes of the same height with the pulpit. The Dr. first read a 
psalm, which was sung from the barbarous Scotch version. He then 
prayed with fervour and interest 15 minutes. His sermon was from 
John v. 24, respecting passing from death unto life. The doctrine of 
the discourse, which went to establish total depravity, irresistible grace, 
and sudden conversion, seemed to be founded rather on the Scotch 
catechism than on the authority of the Bible. It was nearly an hour 
long, and was evidently an extempore effusion. W T ere I to judge of 
the Doctor by this specimen, I should not ascribe to him those pre- 
eminent talents which I have learned he possesses. I observed one 
young man in tears who I afterwards understood was one of his pupils 
in theology. After service I called and sat a short time with him. 
But as I came from a part of the country not famed for attachment 
to Scotch formularies of faith he appeared to treat me with coldness 
and distance very differently from the manner in which I saw him 
treated on his visit to Boston in the houses of my friends who dif- 
fered equally from him in religious sentiments. 

12 Dec, Saturday. I attended the worship of the Jews in their 

1 Rev. John M. Mason, D.D., was born in New York March 19, 1770, gradu- 
ated at Columbia College in 1789, studied theology in Scotland, was settled over 
churches in New York, and was for a time President of Dickinson College. 
He died in his native city, Dec. 26, 1829. In his best days he had a great repu- 
tation as a pulpit orator. See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 
vol. iv. pp. 245, 246. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 371 

synagogue in company with the Rev. Timo. Alden. The men occupy 
the lower floor. The women are in the gallery, which has a breast- 
work as high as their chins. The men wore white sashes ; had wax 
candles burning; and went with great ceremony to the altar to take 
out a scroll on which was written their law. Their exercises, con- 
sisting of prayers and singing from the Psalms and recitations from 
the law, were performed by young and old altogether in the Hebrew 
language. They were very attentive to us ; and finding that we could 
read Hebrew, they pointed out to us the places from which their 
services were taken. 

After service we visited the Academy of Arts in a large building 
erected for Congress when they sat in New York. In the same build- 
ing is the chamber of the New York Historical Society, the collections 
of which are far inferiour to those of the M. H. S. Visited Columbia 
College. The Rev. Dr. Boden showed me the library of abont 4,000 
volumes, old and worn. Saw the different rooms where were the ap- 
paratus, &c, &c. The funds are small. The building is a long and 
ill-shapen stone edifice. At one end is a foundation for a wing, which 
they could never obtain money to finish. They have no catalogue of 
students or of graduates. Dr. Mason has been lately chosen Provost ; 
and great expectations are entertained from this circumstance. 

p. m. I called with Mr. Alden on Mr. Perrine, a Presbyterian min- 
ister, where I met Mr. Strong, another Presbyterian minister of the 
city. 

13 Dec, Lord's Day. In the morning I went to Dr. Miller's 
church. 1 He preached from Isaiah liii. 6, "All we, like sheep, have 
gone," &c. It was a serious sermon on depravity, 45 minutes long, 
which had been evidently written & committed to memory. I com- 
muned with his church, consisting, I should suppose, of 140 members. 
He first made an address on the nature of the ordinance, without dis- 
missing the assembly. A large table was spread in the front aisle which 
passes before the pulpit. As many of both sexes as could sit around it 
took their seats, and partook of the ordinance in both kinds. After this 
a hymn was given out and sung by those retiring from the table, and by 
another set approaching it. This ceremony took place 3 times ; and at 
each time the ceremony was repeated with but little variation. This 
does not strike me as so properly communing together as is the custom 
in Congregational churches. 

Dr. Miller merely asked me to officiate at one of the tables ; and this 

1 Rev. Samuel Miller, D.D., was born in Dover, Del., Oct. 31, 1769, graduated 
at the University of Pennsylvania, and studied theology. From 1791 to 1813 he 
was settled in New York, and afterward was a professor in the Theological 
Seminary at Princeton, N. J., where he died Jan. 7, 1850. See Appleton's 
Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. iv. p. 327. 



372 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

was all the notice which he took of me, although I had a friendly letter 
of introduction from his old friend Dr. Eliot, although I had been in his 
company when he was at Boston, and although I at that time remained 
in the city 4 days. I am afraid that the consideration of my coming 
from Jerusalem occasioned this forbidding reserve. 

p. m. I went to hear Dr. J. B. Romeyn, a popular Presbyterian. 
He is about 40 years old, and has a pleasant countenance and address. 
His text was II Cor. ii. 14, 15, " Unto the one we are a savour of 
death," &c. It was a very plain, unadorned, and unambitious discourse, 
delivered with great pathos, though without any motion of the hands. 
It was, I should judge, more than an hour long, yet a very full congre- 
gation appeared quite attentive through the whole. In his prayer he 
had this singular expression, " May we lay the hand of faith on the 
head of our substitute Jehovah Jesus ! " 

In the evening I went to Trinity Church, where was a large assem- 
bly of the gayest dressed people whom I ever saw at publick worship. 
Prayers were read by Mr. Sayre, who, I observed, with others in the 
church bowed at the name of Jesus. Mr. How preached from Hebrews 
i. 1, 2, 3, on the Trinity. His arguments were very trite and incon- 
clusive. He affected the orator by uncommon gesticulation. 

14 Dec, Monday. We took the accommodation stage for Phila- 
delphia. In passing through New Jersey, what was most observable 
was the level roads, red, clayey sand and soil, fine travelling, the ap- 
pearance of good husbandry, and several beautiful towns and villages. 
The season past was a fine season for corn, though the crops in New 
England were generally so miserable. The most interesting places are 
Newark, Elizabethtown, Princeton, Brunswick, and Trenton. A 
steamboat regularly passes from New York on the bay up the Raritan 
to Brunswick. From this place there is a portage to Trenton where 
another steamboat passes to Philadelphia, 30 miles. This day we 
dined in Milton, and passed the night at Princeton. The roads were 
so badly cut up by the heavy travelling from Brunswick that we went 
very slowly the latter part of the way. Arriving at Princeton after 9 
in the evening I could not see the College. 

15 Dec, Tuesday. We arrived at Trenton to breakfast. I saw the 
place where the Hessians were captured in our Revolutionary War, and 
the bridge in passing which Washington was welcomed on his way to 
New York to take the Presidency of the U. S. by ladies dressed in white 
and with baskets of flowers. We went, however, over a new chain 
bridge, over which we passed under cover. The first object we per- 
ceive on the Pennsylvania side is the late residence of Gen. Moreau. 
The house was burnt about a year ago. The appearance indicates that 
it was a magnificent seat. We were told that he contemplates rebuild- 
ing it. We observed in passing that it is common in Pennsylvania to 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 373 

gather corn from the husks in the field; to construct their ovens by 
themselves at a little distance from their habitations ; to build most of 
their houses and even barns in the country of stone ; and to have a large 
proportion of their hay without cover, exposed to the elements. The 
road from Trenton to Philadelphia is very fine. We had frequent and 
interesting views of the Delaware. In the Middle States the people 
reckon, as much as the Yankees guess. They much more generally con- 
found the persons of verbs and nouns, &c, as " the lands is good," &c, 
&c. A well dressed and intelligent gentleman got into the stage when 
we were quite crowded, for he said he wanted to get into town very 
badly. Though we pay stage fare for 100 miles from New York to 
Philadelphia, yet they call it to Princeton 50 miles, thence to Trenton 
10 miles, & thence to Philadelphia 30 miles = 90 from city to city. 

We took lodgings at Mrs. Benson's, an elegant boarding house. 
After dinner we went into the warm bath. The water was so hot that 
we were made very languid, and were exceedingly exposed to taking 
cold. We went to see the elephant, and then we visited Peale's Mu- 
seum, which, it being the evening before market day, was much crowded. 

16 Dec, Wednesday. It being market day we went early into 
Market Street. This is a fine, wide, and commodious street, commenc- 
ing at the Delaware and extending toward the Schuylkill. The market 
house, beginning at the Delaware, is half a mile long. The street is 
so wide that teams can conveniently pass each other on each side of the 
house. At the end of the market house the large waggons are ranged 
as near together as they can stand, each drawn by five and sometimes 
six horses. They often carry 4^ tons in one waggon. 

I was introduced to Mr. John Vaughan, 1 Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Ed- 
dowes. Went into Dr. Staughton's new Baptist meeting. It is of a 
round form, having a covered baptistery in the middle of the broad 
aisle. Saw the Unitarian church, which is in a state of forwardness. 
Went to the Academy of Fine Arts. Saw many elegant statues. 
They are exhibited naked ; yet we were told that nothing is more com- 
mon than for ladies to go and see them, without, however, the company 
of men. The Pennsylvania Bank, the Philadelphia Bank, and the 
Masons' Hall are very elegant buildings of white marble. 

p. m. We went to Beck's shot tower, near the Schuylkill. From 
the top of this, 166 feet, there is the best view of the city which you 
can find. I counted 254 steps, very steep in the ascent. Examined a 
curious steam engine which raises water from the Schuylkill to supply 
the city. 

1 John Vaughan, a younger brother of the more famous Benjamin Vaughan, 
Franklin's friend, was born in England Jan. 15, 1756, came to this country at an 
early age, and settled in Philadelphia where he died, Dec. 13, 1841. He was for 
many years Secretary of the American Philosophical Society. 



374 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

Evening took tea at Mr. Buck's, a Hamburgher, with Mrs. Nath. 
Higginson, aunt of Mrs. B. Several German ladies were there. After 
this Mrs. H. introduced me to Dr. Rush. He gave me this anecdote 
concerning Dr. Doddridge, communicated to him by Dr. Priestley. Dr. 
Doddridge once invited the famous Dr. James Foster on his travels 
through Northampton to preach for him. He accordingly preached in 
Dr. D.'s pulpit. This made a great hue and cry among the Orthodox. 
On Dr. D.'s going to London Mr. Buckland, bookseller in Paternoster 
Row, inquired of him concerning the fact. " Do you think," replied 
he with apparent seriousness, " that I would solicit the services of such 
a heretick ? " This reply being carried to Dr. Foster, he says to the 
informant, " Do you ask Dr. D. from me, whether he did not invite me 
to preach for him, and whether I did not accordingly preach." These 
questions being put to Dr. D. he was exceedingly affected by a 
conviction of the duplicity which he had practised. Dr. Aikin, a pupil 
of Doddridge at the time of these transactions, gave Dr. Priestley this 
anecdote, and added that Dr. D. used to lay it to heart that he was 
guilty of such prevarication, so as to weep whenever the subject was 
started. 

17 Dec, Thursday. In the morning Mr. James Taylor politely 
waited on us to the State's prison. We were conducted into its various 
apartments by Mr. Morris, a very pleasant and intelligent Quaker. 
There is the uniform appearance of uncommon neatness, industry, good 
order, and comfortable food and other accommodations. The number 
of convicts was 450. Few were kept together, to prevent as far as 
possible infection from evil examples. The only punishment which 
they inflict, besides reproof, is solitary confinement. There has been 
no instance of suicide ; nor has there ever been an insurrection, 
although they have had but seven men, and these wholly without 
arms, to guard them. Their worship is conducted principally by 
Methodists. There is a larger and more commodious prison erecting a 
little out of the city. From this place we went to the Pennsylvania 
Hospital, a magnificent, neat, and charitable institution. Went into the 
museum attached to it, and saw the human frame in almost every state. 
The gardens around are very handsome. In the front there is a large 
brazen statue of Penn. We next visited the mint of the U. S. They 
were coining and milling half dollars. We then dined with Mr. John 
Vaughan, a bachelor, to whom I had letters. I was here introduced 
to the Abbe Correa, the most learned man that Portugal has produced. 
He has published several works, and is member of most of the 
learned institutions, both in Europe and America. Mr. Vaughan 
showed us after dinner, the library, museum, &c, of the American 
Philosophical Society. We went again into Peale's Museum. Saw 
the bones of the mammoth, a model of the machine for perpetual 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 375 

motion, a curious optical fallacy in looking through complex mirrours. 
Mr. V. gave me this anecdote. When St. Pierre published his Paul 
and Virginia, a blooming young lady being delighted with the work 
determined to marry the author ; and she accomplished her purpose by 
urging her. own suit, though the disparity in their years was great. 
The Museum contains an immense collection of paintings, mostly by 
Peale, also numerous specimens of statues, birds, beasts, fishes, insects, 
reptiles, metals, minerals, coins, &c. It is visited by all ranks of 
people, as the fee for admission is but 25 cents. Visited the City 
Library left by an English gentleman. It is consulted gratis. 

18 Dec, Friday. At 5 in the morning took passage in the Pilot 
stage with 6 others. Breakfasted at Chester in the tavern of Mr. 
Anderson, member of Congress. Dined at Elkton on Elk river. At 
sunset crossed the Susquehannah at Havre de Grace, and supped on 
canvas backed ducks, where we lodged. In this part of the country we 
pass no churches on the road. The common people almost universally 
appear idle and profane, and discover great want of common education. 
A decent looking man said, " I have never went to Baltimore by land." 
Another said he lived a little piece from such a place. We this day 
travelled 25 miles in the State of Delaware, passing through Wilming- 
ton, its capital. This is a town of some trade and of considerable im- 
portance. Most of their fences here are of hedge. Throughout this 
part of Delaware and the State of Maryland there are scarcely any 
bridges in the roads. They have very small barns, as the cattle are in 
the fields most of the winter. 

19 Dec, Saturday. At a little past noon arrived at Gadsby's, a 
famous hotel in Baltimore. Next door to the bar-room is a barber's 
shop with four attendants. On arriving our names were entered in a 
book, and our room was shown us. Immediately a black servant pre- 
sented himself who was always at our command while we tarried. 
Water is conveyed by pipes to an entry, where we wash with the most 
perfect convenience. After dinner went to see the first house in Gay 
Street occupied by Wagner the printer which was wholly demolished 
by an unprincipled mob. 1 Saw also the castle of the Spartan band, so 
called, in Charles Street, where Hanson and Wagner's friends, headed 
by Gen. Lee, so valiantly defended themselves. The doors and windows 
were broken in. Went next to the goal where such horrid scenes took 
place. Called on my old friend Eben. Wales and on Thomas Vose, 
with whom I took tea. 

20 Dec, Lord's Day. Preached all day for Dr. Inglis, a Presby- 

1 The Baltimore riot, to which there are frequent references in the following 
pages, occurred in July, 1812. It was the direct consequence of the angry and 
excited state of political feeling everywhere prevalent at that time. See Hil- 
dreth's History of the United States, vol. vi. pp. 325-333; Henry Adams's History 
of the United States, vol. vi. pp. 405-409. 



376 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

terian minister. 1 Had among my hearers Robert Smith, late Secretary 
of State, and family, Senator Sam. Smith's family, Gen. Strieker, John 
E. Hall, one of the Spartan band, &c., &c. By the influence of the 
Catholicks in this city Dr. Inglis's wife's sister assumed the veil, and 
went clandestinely to a nunnery in New Orleans. Dr. Inglis informed 
me that he heard the Rev. Dr. Alexander Proudfit of Salem, N. Y., say 
in a sermon that " Christ was the greatest sufferer, because he was the 
greatest sinner." In the evening heard Mr. Dashiell, an Episcopal 
Methodist, from II Peter, ii. 9, " God knoweth how to deliver the 
godly out of tempta"." It was a ranting extemporaneous effusion ; 
and after sermon he made a prayer of great length and violence. Dr. 
Ben, an Episcopal clergyman, is supposed to have sickened and died 
on account of the hazards to which his son was exposed in defending 
the freedom of the press at Baltimore. For immediately after that! 
event he declined and expired. What increased his unhappiness was 
that he could not consent that his son should run the hazard of coming 
to see him while he lived. 

21 Dec, Monday. Mr. Appleton, Mr. Wales, and Mr. Payson 
called at my lodgings, and invited me to dine. , We walked down to 
Fell's Point of famous mob memory. Called on Ardelia Williams and 
Mrs. Benj. Williams. Dined at Mr. Appleton's with the aforemen- 
tioned gentlemen, and took tea at Mr. Payson's. 

22 Dec, Tuesday. At 6 in the morning took passage in the Vigi- 
lance, with brother Lewis Tappan, Wm. Tucker, & Senator Worthing- 
ton. At 2 arrived at Washington in a tempest of dust, and put up at 
Davis's hotel. After dinner went to hear the debates in Congress on 
the final question, Whether the penal bonds of the merchants to the 
1 Aug., 1812, shall be cancelled. Carried, 62 against 58. Heard Macon 
of N. C, Little of M'd, and Roberts of P'a against the merchants & 
Nelson of Virginia in their favour. Cheeves resembles the Rev. Joshua 
Bates of Dedhara, and Speaker Clay the Rev. Dan 1 Dana of Newbury 
Port. At 6 we took a hack and went to Georgetown to take tea at 
Isaac S. Gardner's with his father, Gen. Gardner. 

23 Dec, Wednesday. Attended debates in Congress on the navy 
bill, which proposes 6 additional frigates and 4 74s. Heard McKee, 
Allston, N. C, Milnor, Bassett, Seybert, Stow, Widgery and Potter. 
Carried in the affirmative, 70 to 56. Potter of R. I. & Champion of 
Con. the only Federalists against it. A message was communicated 
from the President relating to the appropriation of the sum voted by 
Congress in 1805 to Com. Decatur for his valour, &c The inquiry 

1 Rev. James Inglis, D.D., was born in Philadelphia in 1777, graduated at 
Columbia College in 1795, and was ordained in 1802 over the First Presbyterian 
Church, Baltimore, where he died in 1820. See Sprague's Annals of the Ameri- 
can Pulpit, vol. iv. pp. 278-284. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 377 

was started by Mr. Quincy, who was chairman of the committee. 
Gholson moved that this communication be referred to the Naval Com- 
mittee. Mr. D. R. Williams moved to refer it to the committee of in- 
vestigation, of which Q. was one. Mr. Randolph moved that it be 
referred to a committee of the whole house that it might be fairly in- 
vestigated. Thus I had an opportunity to hear Mr. Randolph for the 
first time. His first appearance promises but little. But his manner 
is interesting and his eloquence enchanting. 

In the evening Mr. Reed of Marblehead called on us in his carriage 
to go to Mrs. Madison's drawing room. We arrived at about 7, and 
found a richly furnished room and a splendid company. We were first 
ushered into a large hall, supported by pillars, where we took off our 
coats and hats. We were immediately introduced to Mrs. Madison, 
who received us with great politeness. The President made us on our 
introduction very stiff and formal bows. Mrs. M., though originally of 
a Quaker family, was dressed very splendidly with a crown on her head. 
Her face and neck were obviously daubed with paint so as fairly to 
glisten. There were two rooms for the guests, arouud which were ele- 
gant seats covered with red morocco, with cushions of the same kind. 
On these the ladies were seated. The men generally stood, or walked 
about the rooms. The President paid no attention to the ladies, but 
was all the time engaged in conversing with the men. The officers of 
the navy talked with him considerably. But what was most disgusting 
was to see him in a long, close, and what appeared confidential con- 
versation with Gales, the imported editor of the National Intelligencer. 
The President is a short and small man, with a face shrivelled with 
care. He is bald, has large earlocks, a club behind precisely like Dr. 
Osgood's. I watched him a great part of the evening, and in no in- 
stance was his face illumined with a smile. No wonder, if he soberly 
reflects on the evils which he has been instrumental of bringing upon 
his country. I was introduced to Col. Monroe, who has most of the 
appearance of a gentleman of any at the palace. I was next intro- 
duced to Mons. Gallatin, Sec. of the Treasury. He has quite an 
original countenance, a dark complexion, black hair, a bald foretop, a 
large and aquiline nose, black and piercing eyes. Indeed, there is in 
his appearance a great degree of cunning. Judge Duvall is an old and 
pleasant man. I saw Mons. Serrurier, the French minister, but did 
not court an introduction to him. He is about 35 years old, has a 
lively countenance, dresses well, and powders greatly. Mr. John Gore 
and wife were there from Boston, as also Mr. Motley, Mr. Hastings, 
and Gen. Gardner of Brookline. 

24 Dec, Thursday. Called to see the patent office. Then we at- 
tended the launching of the ship Adams at the Navy Yard. After 
the launch went to the sail loft, where I saw Com. Tingey, Paul 

48 



378 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

Hamilton, Sec. of Navy, Mad. Jerome Bonaparte and her hopeful son, 
and Mr. Thompson who was so nearly a victim to the brutal ferocity of 
the Baltimore mob. The gentlemen and ladies danced in the Southern 
or French style. 

25 Dec, Christmas. At 9£ we took a hack for Alexandria, 6^ miles. 
We crossed the Potowmack over a bridge which is more than a mile 
long, said to be the longest in the United States. Arrived at Alexan- 
dria at 11, and alighted at Triplett's hotel. Went immediately to Dr. 
Muir's Presbyterian church, 1 and heard Dr. Iuglis of Baltimore from 
Acts x. 43, u To him give all the prophets witness." The discourse was 
appropriate and well delivered. Dined with Mr. Chs. I. Catlett, to 
whom I had a letter from S. Higginson, Jr., with bV Tappan, two 
Mr. Perkins's, Dr. Muir, & Dr. Inglis. After dinner Gen. Henry Lee, 
the confidential friend of Washington, an old Revolutionary officer, 
called. He was very severely handled by the Baltimore mob. His 
head was covered with a black cloth, where the miscreants had wounded 
him. His face was covered with scars. His nose had been split longi- 
tudinally, and his left eye nearly closed. He knew nothing of Han- 
son's design to defend his house, when he left Alexandria for Baltimore. 
His business there was merely to contract with a printer for the publi- 
cation of his memoirs. He told me that the Spartan band could have 
defended the house had they not been persuaded to surrender to the 
civil authority. Had the cannon been fired which was planted before 
the house he had agreed with 9 others to rush out and take it. Maj. 
Barney coming up prevented the firing of the cannon, and thus probably 
saved the lives of great numbers. Gen. Lee knew nothing after his 
blow early in the evening till midnight. He mentioned the great ben- 
efits rendered to the wounded by a pedlar called the Boston Beauty, 
who was the means of causing the mob to desist from the murder of 
several. Had they carried arms to the gaol they could have defended 
themselves. He told several anedotes of Washington. He was his 
primary agent for the spy department. When Washington was about 
accepting the command of the armies of the U. S. he told at Mr. Jas. 
Riddle's, " If there be an honest patriot in the country, and I believe 
there are many, Timothy Pickering stands pre-eminent." 

Mrs Catlett is Ann, daughter of Bryan, Lord Fairfax, clergyman 
of the Episcopal church where Mr. Mead now officiates. She is a 
handsome, social, and intelligent person. She showed me several 
letters written by Gen. Washington to her father, persuading him to 

1 Rev. James Muir, D.D., was born at Cumnock in Scotland, April 12, 1757, 
graduated at the University of Glasgow in 1776, and for several years lived in 
the island of Bermuda. In 1788 he came to the United States, and in the follow- 
ing year was ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. He 
died there Aug. 8, 1820. See Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. iii. 
pp. 616-521. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 379 

favour the cause of the revolutionists, which he however persisted in 
opposing. 

26 Dec, Saturday. Went in a coach to Mt. Vernon, the seat of the 
immortal Washington, with Gen. Gardner, two Messrs. Perkins, Mr. 
Ilolbrook, and Mr. Winston, a Quaker. We arrived at 1 1 a. m. The 
surrounding lands are poor. The place itself is indeed rapidly going to 
decay. We passed through three gates, connected on each side with 
lodges for negroes, before we arrived at the mansion house. We get 
within a few rods of it before it is seen. I had a letter from Mr. 
Quincy to Bushrod Washington, but he was absent. His steward and 
gardener showed us the place. Few articles of furniture remain as they 
were, having been dispersed among his friends. We saw the key and 
a description of the Bastile in Paris, presented to W. by La Fayette, 
as also a picture of Louis XVI. - Around the parlour fire-place are the 
most elegant mantle and sides which I have ever seen. It consists of 
rural scenery finely sculptured in Italian marble. I observed the 
chamber where W. breathed his last, but it being now the sleeping 
chamber of the present Mrs. W. we could not of course enter it. We 
ascertained by the domesticks that W. took his last cold not merely by 
riding over his farm exposed to a storm of sleet, but by standing a 
long time in the cold, giving directions about a front path from his 
house to the river, which path we saw as he left it. When he was 
buried his corpse lay a long time in the portico. This, it is thought, 
so familiarized the sight to several of the attendants as to impair the 
solemnity of the scene. For several became intoxicated, so as to 
carry away in their pockets whole fowls and even bottles of wine ! Of 
this I was informed by Dr. Dick. The gardener showed us the green- 
house where were considerable quantities of oranges, lemons, and 
pineapples, but little else. 

The house is of an oblong form, with a double front, one facing the 
river, and the other the garden behind. It presents a fine and extensive 
view of the Potowmac, which you take from a portico which extends 
the whole length of the house in front. Toward the river, which is a 
few rods only from the house, there is a very steep declivity, which used 
to be improved as a park for deer. Indeed, as far as the eye can reach 
in all directions from the house, scarcely anything is observable but the 
river and immense forests. 

After contemplating every thing in & around the mansion of the il- 
lustrious hero we repaired to the family vault, a few rods southwest 
from the house to behold his remains. The tomb is excavated from the 
side of a hill. It is arched at the top, & planted with red cedars. 
The entrance is at first horizontal. Then you descend a few steps into 
the bottom of the tomb. It contains 13 coffins. There is nothing to 
distinguish the coffins of W. and his wife from the others, and indeed 



380 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

from coffins constructed for common people, but the depredations which 
the curiosity of visitants has induced them to commit. They were 
both pine coffins covered with black broadcloth. All the cloth is torn 
from his coffin, and visitants have begun to cut shavings from the wood 
itself. The cloth of Mrs. W.'s is not yet wholly removed. I acknowl- 
edge that I could not resist the common propensity to bear away some 
however small memorials of greatness. Accordingly I took a small 
shaving from W.'s coffin, and a piece of cloth of the size of a 4£ d 
from that of his wife. It is said that W.'s body was first placed in a 
leaden coffin which is enclosed by pine. We were told that one of the 
servants in the family some time ago attempted to steal the skull of W. 
with a view to carry it to Europe and make gain by exhibiting it. He, 
however, by mistake got a skull of W.'s uncle ; and he was detected in 
the theft before he had an opportunity of escaping with the spoil. 

Coming away we took a glass of wine in the mansion house, and on 
passing through the first gate we saw the General's favourite servant 
William for whom he provided in his will. He is now 67 years old, 
bent down with infirmities, but he appears much as he is represented 
in the family group of W. Tears ran down his withered cheeks as we 
recalled to his mind the dear image of his master. On mentioning 
that we came from Boston and its vicinity his curiosity was greatly 
excited, and he asked several questions respecting the early scenes of 
the war, which he himself had witnessed. As we proceeded further 
a brother of William presented himself at the second gate with a 
decanter, which was genteely asking alms. We had no disposition to 
mistake the meaning of such hints. As we came to the third gate an 
old negro presented himself, having on a cocked hat formerly worn 
by his master. Our Quaker friend purchased a small piece of it as 
a curiosity for which he gave a dollar. On our return we dined at 
the tavern. 

p. m. I met with Dr. Muir and the communicants of his church 
to unite in religious services preparatory to the Communion on the 
morrow. The exercises consisted of reading the Scriptures, an extem- 
poraneous address by Dr. M., and prayers by Dr. Inglis and myself. 

In the evening I preached in his church from Rom. viii. 28, " We 
know that all things," &c. 

I spent the night at Mr. Vowell's, a genteel family, and one of the 
elders. At family devotions besides reading the Scriptures they sing, 
and all kneel during prayer. In these services even their blacks joined 
with great apparent devotion. 

27 Dec, Lord's Day. In the morning Dr. Inglis of Baltimore 
preached a good sermon, from II Peter, iii. 18, "Who once suffered 
for sins," &c. It was 45 minutes long, and delivered mostly from 
memory, with many rhetorical flourishes. Then came the Communion 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 381 

services. There were 3 tables full, amounting in the whole to about 
80. Dr. Muir served the first, Dr. Inglis the second, and Mr. Balch 
of Georgetown the third. We were 3 hours in the whole service. 
I dined at Mrs. Fendell's, sister of Gen. Lee, with Mr. Holbrook. 

p.m. I preached on self government, Prov. xvi. 32, "He that is 
slow to anger," &c. 

In the evening went to Mr. Mead's Episcopal church. He being 
absent in the country on account of the sickness of his wife, Dr. Inglis 
preached, by request of the wardens and vestry of the church, from 
Luke ii. 29, 30, " Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace," 
&c. I spent the night at Mr. Catlett's, where we performed family 
devotion kneeling. 

28 Dec, Monday. Breakfasted at Dr. Muir's with Dr. Dick, one of 
the attending physicians on Washington in his last illness. He re- 
marked to me that humanly speaking the life of W. might have been 
spared by opening the windpipe, as his complaint was the same which 
in children is called croup. He and Craik agreed in opinion, but Dr. 
Brown dissented, and the plan was frustrated. As to W. closing his 
own eyes, he heard nothing of it at the time, though with him to the 
last, and thinks it a mere spasmodick motion. The last words he 
uttered were, "Dr., I think I die hard." This Dr. Dick was in early 
life very dissipated. On meeting with a series of domestick afflictions 
he turned his attention to religious inquiries, and became constant at 
publick worship, sometimes with Presbyterians, then with Episcopalians, 
Methodists, and Baptists, and finally became a Quaker, in which sect 
he was originally educated. 

At 10 a.m. rode in a very full stage to Washington. Put up at 
Miss Hyer's. Attended debates in Congress. Dined with Mr. 
Bleeker, member from Albany, to whom I had a letter. He informed 
me that he knew of but 5 or 6 gentlemen in Albany who were not in 
the habit of attending publick worship constantly both parts of the day. 

Took tea at Mrs. Aborn's, formerly from Brookline. Several 
members of Congress present. 

29 Dec, Tuesday. Attended debates in Congress. Heard David 
R. Williams make a very boisterous and inflammatory speech on 
introducing the bill for adding 20 regiments to the army. Dined with 
Messrs. Lloyd and Quincy in company with BeDJ. Joy and brother 
Tappan. Took tea with Mr. and Mrs. John Gore. 

30 Dec, Wednesday. Went to Georgetown to breakfast with brother 
T. Visited a Lancaster school in that place instructed by Mr. Oulds, 
a pupil of Lancaster himself. He exhibited very surprising improve- 
ments of his pupils. Went to the cannon foundery. They were 
boring the cannon from a solid mass of iron by machinery carried by 
water. Called to see Alex. C. Hanson. He was absent. Returned 



382 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

to the Capitol, and attended debates. Heard Grundy, Pearson, 
Talliaferro, Stow, Findley, Baker, D. R. Williams, Ely, Rhea, Golds- 
borough, Bibb, Widgery, Troup, Gold, Fisk, Quincy, and Desha. 

31 Dec., Thursday. Gen. Gardner and I started in the Vigilance 
for Baltimore on our return home. Brother Tappan is to continue for 
some time longer. We arrived at Baltimore at about 3 o'clock, p. m., 
and made several calls. 

January, 1813. 

1 Jan., Friday. We took the Pilot stage for Philadelphia. We 
dined at Elkton, 53 miles from Baltimore, and passed the night at 
Weld's in Wilmington, Delaware. 

2 Jan., Saturday. We breakfasted at Anderson's in Chester, and at 
2 p.m. arrived at Philadelphia. We put up at Mrs. Benson's. After 
dinner we called on Mr. Taylor, Rev. Philip F. Mayer, 1 Bishop White, 
Mrs. Hill, Mrs. Nath. Higginson. Tea at Mr. Mayer's. He gave 
thanks at table after tea, sitting. No blessing was asked. I find this- 
position is universal in the Middle and Southern States, wherever 
such a ceremony takes place. This afternoon was very rainy. 

3 Jan., Lord's Day. Preached at Mr. Vaughan's church from Mat. 
xxii. 38, " This is the first and great commandment." Dined with the 
Rev. Mr. Mayer, and preached for him in the afternoon, from John 
xviii. 36, " My kingdom is not of this world." After service I was 
highly entertained with the manner in which Mr. M. addressed his 
children. There were present 75 boys, 56 girls = 131. Mr. M. men- 
tioned two visionary Swedenborgians at Lancaster, Penn., who to 
arrive at the greatest perfection agreed to abstain from all animal food. 
One relented and recovered. The other persisted and died. Tea with 
Mr. Taylor. Called on several. 

4 Jan., Monday. At 3 in the morning started with Gen. Gardner 
in the Pilot for New York. Breakfasted at Trenton. Dined at Bridge- 
ton. Passed the night at Paulus Hook. Just before arriving at the 
latter place the horses started at a broken chair, and we were very 
providentially preserved from being thrown into the ditch ! 

5 Jan., Tuesday. After breakfast crossed the Hudson, and put up 
at the City Hotel, New York. Called at several places. Took tea 
with Mr. Alden. 

6 Jan., Wednesday. Took stage for New Haven. Saw the decliv- 
ity at Horse Neck down which Gen. Putnam fled from the enemy in 
the Revolutionary War in a very extraordinary manner. Called at 

1 Rev. Philip F. Mayer was born in New York April 1, 1781, and graduated 
at Columbia College in 1799, studied theology, and was ordained over an English 
Lutheran church in Philadelphia in 1806. He died there April 16, 1858. See 
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. iv. pp. 274, 275. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 383 

West Farms, twelve miles from the city, to see my brother Lemuel. 
Iu going to this place we went over Haerlem bridge, built over a 
creek of the same name which extends from East River to the Hudson, 
and makes the city of New York an island. This bridge k 8 miles 
from the Battery, at the mouth of the Hudson. We dined this day at 
Stratford, Connecticut, and spent the night at Nichols's, New Haven. 

7 Jan., Thursday. This morning we might have taken the stage at 
4, and arrived at Brookliue the next day, had not Nichols, with whom 
we spent the night, deceived us. The only motive which he could 
have, as far as we could ascertain, was to detain us at his house to 
breakfast. This gave us a most disgusting specimen of the selfishness 
which some of the baser sort are capable of practising. We accord- 
ingly took passage in a stage which went late in the morning to Hartford 
only. We arrived at sunset. . . . 

At New Haven viewed the Colleges. There are three of the size 
of those in Cambridge, although not in so good repair, for the accom- 
modation of students. Besides these they have a chapel and reciting 
halls. The old brick church is just taken down to be rebuilt. At 9 
started for Hartford. We dined at Durham, and arrived by sunset at 
Bennett's in Hartford. At 7 called to see the Rev. Dr. Strong, who 
although he was well as usual had gone to bed. 1 

8 January, Friday. At noon took stage. Spent the night at Ashford 
in Connecticut, after a bitter cold day's ride. 

9 January, Saturday. We breakfasted at Thompson, dined at 
Clark's, Medfield, and arrived at home in Brookline at six o'clock in 
the evening, 40 days from my departure. 

Mr. Goodhue of Baltimore and Mr. Emery of Philadelphia both re- 
marked that it was a common saying in their respective cities that their 
inhabitants were most distinguished for religion, while they acknowl- 
edged that the people of Boston and vicinity had the most morality! ! ! 

Rev. Dr. Inglis of Baltimore informed me that Hanson and others 
had enjoyed better health than before since the violent treatment which 
they had experienced from the Baltimore mob. Mr. H. in particular 
had some internal complaint from an adhesion of some of the parts to 
the pleura, but the violent stamping on his breast had occasioned a sep- 
aration of them, and copious bleeding had restored and confirmed his 
health. 

1 Rev. Nathan Strong, D.D., was born in Coventry, Conn., Oct. 5, 1748, 
graduated at Yale College in 1769, and was settled over the First Church in 
Hartford Jan. 5, 1774. He continued sole pastor of that church until a few 
weeks before his death, Dec. 25, 1816. Among his numerous publications was an 
octavo volume of upward of four hundred pages, entitled " The Doctrine of 
Eternal Misery reconcileable with the Infinite Benevolence of God, and a truth 
plainly asserted in the Christian Scriptures." See Dexter's Yale Biographies, 
third series, pp. 357-363. 



384 MASSACHUSETTS HISTOEICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

Mr. Dashiell of Baltimore, a sort of Episcopal Methodist, addressing 
his hearers in an extempore discourse warned them against hell, saying 
" What a miserable crew will ye be in that place of torment ! " 

Gen. Henry Lee informed me at Mr. Catlett's, Alexandria, that 
Washington some time before his death spoke to him plainly of the de- 
ceitfulness and hypocrisy of Jefferson. 

Dr. Inglis, Dr. Muir, and Gen. Lee spoke of the known and ac- 
knowledged piety of Gen. Lingan, who was murdered by the Baltimore 
mob. Gen. Lee remarked that his life might have been spared had he 
not attempted to expostulate with the wretches, and showed them the 
wounds which he received in his country's cause, while they were in 
France or among the bogs of Ireland. 

Called in the evening of the 3d of Jan. to hear Dr. Staughton, a 
famous Baptist preacher in Philadelphia. He was just closing, and I 
could perceive by his tones one great source of his popularity. He has 
a large, new, elegant house, of a rotund form, which was entirely full. 
There is a baptistery in the middle of the church. Notwithstanding his 
great popularity, and the large numbers who flock to hear him, he is 
obliged to keep an apothecary's shop for his support. This is owing to 
several causes. It is natural for the sect to have more faith than works. 
Generosity is a carnal virtue. Besides the hearers are commonly among 
the poor in this world's goods, who are as unable as they are unwilling 
to support their minister. 

I was charmed with the Catholicism of the ministers and people of 
Alexandria. The Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodists have 
unrestrained religious as well as civil intercourse. I heard a Presby- 
terian preach an evening lecture in an Episcopal church by desire of 
the wardens and vestry. 

At Philadelphia, I ascertained by Mr. John Vaughan that there are 
in that city 50 churches of all the different denominations. 

To this narrative I will now add only two other citations. 
The first is Dr. Pierce's account of one of his last interviews 
with John Quincy Adams. It is as follows: — 

Lord's Day, 28 July, 1844, I exchanged with the Rev. Wm. Par- 
sons Lunt of Quincy, and dined with Hon. John Quincy Adams, Ex- 
President. He has not yet wholly recovered from bruises occasioned by 
a fall from a platform as he was passing from the cars to the steamboat, 
travelling from Washington home. It was dark. He heard a rumbling 
noise as if the baggage car was coming upon him. In leaping aside to 
save himself he fell from a platform on to the stones, about 4 feet, and 
dragged his wife with him. They were both badly bruised, but no 
limbs were broken, a remarkable preservation ! 

Mr. Adams appears much feebler than did his father at his age. He 






1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 385 

assigns as one reason of this difference that his father almost wholly 
abstained from public business on leaving the Presidency at G6, while 
he, now past 77, has been uninterruptedly engaged in public affairs. 

In speaking of the Rev. Anthony Wibird, the minister of Quincy 
during Mr. A.'s youth, he observed that they met at his uncle Cranch's, 
and that Mr. W. afterward said to his uncle that his interview with the 
youth reminded him of that poetical line, — 

•' Curse on the stripling 1 how he apes his sire." 

In his room there was a picture of Edward Boylston, son of Edward, 
who was brother of his great-grandfather Peter. Consequently Edward 
Boylston, Jr., was cousin of Mr. Adams's grandmother, Susanna Adams 
(Boylston). This was a handsome picture, with a letter in the hand 
directed to the elder Professor Wigglesworth. Boylston sent the picture 
from the West Indies to his mother in Boston. Professor Wigglesworth 
claimed the picture on the ground of the letter directed to him. On the 
death of the mother the picture was sent to him, John Adams carry- 
ing it to him in his Freshman year, 1751. On the death of Professor 
Wigglesworth, Ward Nicholas Boylston purchased this picture at 
auction, and presented it to the elder Adams. 

Mr. Adams spoke with high admiration of George S. Hillard's two 
orations which he has heard, the first when Mr. H. was graduated, but 
especially his $BK oration on the last August. He contrasted it to 
the first 13 5 March & 4 July orations, greatly in preference of Mr. H.'s 
composition. He thought these orations as a whole were poor and lean 
productions. 

He spoke of his Class at College. Freeman, as I had heard before, 
had the closing oration, the most honorable assignment at Commence- 
ment, on the ground of being considered the best writer, a very hand- 
some & graceful young man, and one of the best speakers who was 
ever educated at Harvard University. Mr. Adams did not consider 
him the best scholar in the Class. He believed that this honor belonged 
to Bridge. 

Asa Johnson, the oldest in the Class, and a great metaphysician, was 
an avowed atheist, the only person of this description whom Mr. Adams 
has ever known. He had a perfect self-command, which could not be 
shaken by any excitement which he produced in his fellow disputants. 
He was afterwards a lawyer in Worcester county, and maintained a 
respectable standing in character and profession. 

Freeman was intended for the ministry, but after leaving College he 
studied law, married early, and went to Congress. He . . . [died] 
when a little past 30 years of age. 1 

1 In the issues of the Triennial Catalogue of Harvard University since 1854, 
and in the Quinquennials, Nathaniel Freeman, who died in 1800, is errone- 

49 



386 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

President Adams confirmed the accounts which have been current 
of his grandfather Smith's sermons on the marriage of his daughters. 
The Rev. William Smith, native of Charlestown, H. U. 1725, was 
ordained in Weymouth 4 Dec, 1734, and died 29 Sep., 1783, ae. 77. 

At the marriage of his daughter Mary to Judge Cranch, greatly 
approving of the match, he preached from Luke x. 42, "Mary hath 
chosen that good part which shall not be taken from her." 

At the marriage of Abigail to John Adams, a lawyer, he preached 
with reference to the prejudices of the common people against that 
profession, Mat. xi. 18, "John came neither eating nor drinking, & 
they say he hath a devil." 

When his daughter Elisabeth was married to the Rev. John Shaw 
of Haverhill, his text was John i. 6, " There was a man sent from 
God, whose name was John." 

These women, whose mother was a Quincy, though educated in the 
obscure country town of Weymouth, were among the best educated 
females of the day, especially the distinguished wife of the celebrated 
John Adams. 

The other citation is one of the latest and best of Dr. Pierce's 
characterizations of a contemporary, — that of Rev. Samuel 
Ripley of Waltham, a member of this Society from 1820 to 
1847. It fitly supplements the notice of Mr. Ripley which was 
prepared by his son, the late Hon. C. G. Ripley, at the request 
of the Committee for publishing the Early Proceedings. 1 

Events are often occurring in God's providential government of the 
world which serve to exhibit in a striking point of view the uncertainty 
of human life, and the vanity of all expectations which centre in the 
present state. Of this kind is not only the melancholy providence last 
related, 2 but also the recent sudden demise of the Rev. Samuel Ripley, 
successor for a number of years of the Rev. Jacob Cushing, D. D., 
of Waltham, but for some time past an inhabitant of Concord, and 
a stated supply of a new small church in the neighboring town of 
Lincoln. 

Samuel Ripley was born in Concord on 11 March, 1783, son of Dr. 
Ezra Ripley, who died on 21 September, 1841, a little past 90 years of 
age, having sustained a ministry of 62 y. 10 m. 13 da. His mother was 

ously described as a member of the Historical Society. His father, of the same 
name, was elected a member in October, 1702, and the name was borne on the 
roll of members until October, 1808. See Proceedings, vol. i. pp. 43, 44, 199, 
500 n. See also Freeman's History of Cape Cod, vol. i. p. 561 ; vol. ii. p. 148 ; 
Thacher's Medical Biography, vol. ii. pp. 241-246. 

1 Proceedings, vol. ii. pp. 392-394. 

2 The death of Hon. Alexander H._Everett, June 29, 1847. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 387 

Phebe Bliss, daughter of a former minister of Concord, and when he 
married her, the widow of the Rev. William Emerson. 

Mr. Ripley was fitted for college by his father, and was graduated, a 
respectable scholar, in the class of 1804, consisting at graduation of GO, 
but which is now reduced to 24 who remain among the living. The 
reason his name does not appear on the order of exercises at Com- 
mencement is that he obtained leave of absence before the parts for 
Commencement were assigned, in order to go into a family in the city 
of Washington as a private tutor. He, however, did not allow his 
occupation as the preceptor of youth to interfere with his favorite pur- 
pose of preparation for the ministry. But studying divinity with his 
father, he was ordained 22 November, 1809, successor of Dr. Jacob 
Cushing, 57 years to a day after the ordination of his immediate 
predecessor. The salary voted him was $700, without any other 
consideration. This evidently was insufficient for the support of a 
family. 

Soon after ordination he married Sarah Bradford, daughter of Capt. 
Gamaliel Bradford, then resident in Charlestown. As she brought 
him no dowry but her highly cultivated mind, and as they judged it 
expedient to erect a large and expensive house, it became indispensable 
that they should make provision by other means besides his salary for 
the payment of their debts and the support of their family. The 
method which they united to employ was the tuition of children, par- 
ticularly the preparation of young men for the University. For such 
a purpose their house was specially designed ; and a great aid in carry- 
ing this design into effect was the co-operation of his accomplished wife, 
who, it has been confidently maintained, understands 7 foreign lan- 
guages, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Italian, Spanish, and German, 
probably better than any other man or woman in the United States. 
But her knowledge is not confined to the learned languages alone. But 
she is as accomplished in domestic concerns as in mental cultivation. 
The circumstance which contributed to her acquaintance with the care 
of a family was the loss of her mother by death when she herself was 
quite young. This led her father to depend wholly on her for the con- 
duct of his household concerns. Thus trained from early youth, she 
became admirably qualified to manage her own family when it was 
enlarged, not only by the increase of her own children, but also by the 
admission of pupils into the household. Not only was Mrs. Ripley " a 
help meet for her husband " in transacting his domestic concerns, but 
also in instructing the children. When scholars are dismissed from the 
University to prosecute their college studies at the place of their sus- 
pension, she has been enabled to instruct them in their most advanced 
studies. With such a partner, and by diligent attention to the duties 
of his profession, Mr. Ripley was enabled respectably to discharge his 



MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

official duties as pastor as well as the management of the pupils intrusted 
to his care. 

His course for the most part was independent. He at first com- 
menced his ministry with asserting his right to vote at the election of 
rulers. But this measure gave such irreconcilable offence to some of 
his political opponents who possessed great influence among his people, 
that he was at length reluctantly induced to forego his right of voting 
for offices of the state and general governments. 

In process of time so difficult had it become to prepare for the pulpit, 
to visit his people, and at the same time pay suitable attention to his 
flock, that he at length judged it expedient to have a colleague. Ac- 
cordingly when he was 58J, and had been ordained 32 years, the Rev. 
George F. Simmons, who afterwards became his son-in-law, was or- 
dained his colleague 27 October, 1841. His ministry, however, from a 
variety of causes was destined to be short. He was succeeded by the 
Rev. Thomas Hill, who was ordained 24 December, 1845. 1 

Early in 1846, Mr. Ripley, having retired from the ministry in 
Waltham, sold his estate there, and taken charge of a small society in 
Lincoln, removed to his father's house in Concord. Here he indulged 
the fond hope of enjoying a vigorous old age in the bosom of his family, 
among the few surviving friends of his youth and his riper years, and 
in the quiet discharge of pastoral duties among the little flock which he 
had taken under his special care. But the providence of God had other 
designs. Truly, " man appoints ; but God disappoints." On 24 Novem- 
ber [1847 J, the day before the last Thanksgiving, Mr. Ripley had ridden 
in his carriage to a neighboring railroad depot to convey to his house 
some family connexions who had come to pass that season of festivity at 
his house. On his return, in the dusk of the evening, and in a violent 
tempest of rain, without the slightest premonition, he fell back in his 
carriage ; and when light was brought from a house which they were 
passing it was soon ascertained that life had become extinct ! Alas ! 
how sudden the transition for his family from the height of anticipation 
to the deepest depression ! Surely, " in the midst of life we are in 
death." " Verily every man, at his best estate, is altogether vanity." 

Two of JVJr. Ripley's sons have been graduated at Harvard Univer- 
sity ; Christopher Gore Ripley, in 1841, and Ezra Ripley, in 1846. 

Considering the multiplicity of Mr. Ripley's avocations he was more 
than commonly acceptable as a preacher in the surrounding parishes. 

1 Dr. Pierce was present at the ordination of Mr. Ripley, and at that of Mr. 
Simmons ; but he was not present at the ordination of Mr. Hill, probably on ac- 
count of his visit to Plymouth two days before. Mr. Ripley belonged to what 
was called the Liberal party, and after he had exhibited a written confession of 
faith to the Council, he was subjected to a rigid examination by the so-called 
Orthodox members. His answers were not satisfactory to them, and on a motion 
to "proceed to the ordination," four would not assent to it. 



1905.] THE REV. DR. JOHN PIERCE'S MEMOIRS. 389 

He preached his 32d and 33d sermons in Brookline on 24 Nov., 
1839, just 8 years to a day previously to his death. In this last day 
of his service here, he discussed " the great and precious promises of 
the gospel," which, it is devoutly to be hoped, he has gone to partici- 
pate. He has left a wife who is an ornament to her sex, 2 sons and 5 
daughters. He has survived his venerable father but 6 years, 2 months, 
and 3 days. It is very observable that in a large Association of minis- 
ters, on the death of his father he became, as next in age, the moderator. 
His predecessor, the venerable Dr. Jacob Cushing, gave me the solemn 
charge at my ordination ; and his successor, the Rev. Thomas Hill, gave 
the right hand of fellowship at the late ordination of my colleague. 1 

Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn presented to the Library a copy 
of the fourth edition of Thomas Watson's " Body of Divinity," 
which had belonged to Rev. William Smith of Weymouth, 
father of Mrs. John Adams. It consists of " above one hun- 
dred and seventy-six sermons on the Lesser Catechism," and 
long enjoyed a great degree of popularity, having been reprinted 
so recently as 1855, more than a century and a half after its 
first publication. 

The new volume of Collections — Seventh Series, Volume V. 
— was on the table for distribution to those members who had 
not already received it. 

1 In the foregoing characterization Dr. Pierce fell into some errors in regard 
to Mr. Ripley. He not only studied divinity with his father, but also in the 
College at Cambridge, and was not married until nearly nine years after ordina- 
tion. In this interval he built the house referred to by Dr. Pierce, and carried 
on a school in addition to discharging his ministerial duties. At the time of his 
marriage he had fourteen pupils. After his marriage the plan of his school was 
much enlarged, and he was greatly aided by his accomplished wife, whose ac- 
quirements, however, are here somewhat exaggerated. An excellent memoir of 
Mr. Ripley, with extracts from his correspondence, was privately printed in 
1897 by his son-in-law, our late associate Mr. James B. Thayer. 



390 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 



MEMOIE 

OF 

HENRY WALBKIDGE TAFT. 

BY JAMES M. BARKER. 



The subject of this memoir was a Resident Member of the 
Society from the year 1894 until his death, on September 22, 
1904, at the age of eighty-five years, ten months, and nine 
days. 

Although fond of historical research, owing to his advanced 
age and the remoteness of his home from the place of the 
meetings of the Society, he never took part in its discussions 
or contributed to its Proceedings. 

It is fortunate that the story of his life, nearly to the end, 
can be stated here in his own words. Among his papers and 
in his own handwriting has been found the following sketch 
prepared by him for a relative in the West about the year 
1900: — 

Henry Walbridge Taft, son of Horace W. and Mary (Mon- 
tague) Taft, was born at Sunderland, Massachusetts, November 
13, 1818. He partly fitted for college at Amherst Academy, 
but various hindrances prevented his entering upon a college 
course. He spent a year and upward (1836-1837) at Green- 
field in the office of Elijah Alvord, Esq., then Clerk of the 
Courts and Register of Probate for Franklin County. The 
experience obtained in this service was a material advantage 
to him in the early years of his professional life. 

In the spring of 1838, at the request of a relative who had 
a business interest in the paper, he assumed the editorial 
charge of the " Massachusetts Eagle," the leading Whig news- 
paper of Berkshire County, then published at Lenox and still 
continued at Pittsfield under the name of the ''Berkshire 





^ 



rt\9a?& 



1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY WALBRIDGE TAFT. 391 

County Eagle." In this employment he passed the remainder 
of the year 1838 and part of the following year, and again 
took charge of the paper for a few months during the presi- 
dential campaign of 1840. In the mean time he had entered 
the office of the late Judge Henry W. Bishop at Lenox as a 
student at law; and in the summer of 1841 he received an of- 
fer of copartnership from Robbins Kellogg, Esq., a lawyer of 
many years' standing in the neighboring town of West Stock- 
bridge, then in failing health. He accepted the offer and re- 
moved to West Stockbridge in August, 1841, and was admitted 
to the bar at the following October term at Lenox. In the 
month of November of the same year Mr. Kellogg died, leav- 
ing his professional business in the hands of Mr. Taft, who 
continued the practice of his profession at West Stockbridge 
until the close of the year 1852. He represented the town in 
the Legislature of 1847. 

In the early part of the year 1853 Mr. Taft was appointed 
Register of Probate for the County of Berkshire and removed 
to Lenox. He continued there in the practice of his profession 
and in the discharge of his official duties for about two years, 
when, in common with several Massachusetts office-holders 
who declined to give in their adhesion to the new Native 
American or " Know Nothing" party which had triumphed in 
the election of November, 1854, he was removed from office. 

In January, 1856, he was appointed by the Supreme Judi- 
cial Court of Massachusetts Clerk of the Court for the 
County of Berkshire. By a change in the Constitution this 
office became elective in the same year, and he was chosen for 
the full term of five years, and has since held the office by 
eight successive elections, his last term closing January 6, 
1897, when he retired, having declined a re-election, after 
serving for the full period of forty-one years. 

Mr. Taft removed in 1871 from Lenox to Pittsfield, where 
he has since resided. The new Court House was first used 
for the session of the full bench of the Supreme Judicial Court 
September 11th of that year. The first day's session was 
given up to appropriate dedicatory exercises, and Mr. Taft 
delivered the address. 

During the period which has elapsed since his admission to 
the bar he has settled many estates as executor or trustee, 
and tried very many cases in his own and the adjoining counties 



392 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Oct. 

as auditor, master, or referee. He was for seventeen years a 
trustee of the State Lunatic Hospital at Northampton. He 
has been president of the Third National Bank of Pittsfield 
since its organization in 1881. He is a member of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, 
and several local societies of kindred character. 

When he retired from the office of Clerk the members of 
the bar joined in a request for his portrait. He assented and 
the portrait has been painted and placed in the Court House. 

Mr. Taft was married at Lenox, October 12, 1842, to 
Harriet Worthington, daughter of Dr. Charles Worthington. 
She died on October 17, 1860. On October 2, 1862, he 
was married to Lucy N. Raymond, of Lenox, who died on 
January 26, 1904. There was no issue by either marriage. 

Mr. Taft was calm and gentle in temperament, yet firm, 
decided, and industrious. In person he was tall and of slender 
figure. His manners and dress were those of the courteous 
officials of the old school, so well known to the country life of 
New England. His probity, his well-known religious feeling, 
his business sense, and wide knowledge of law and of affairs 
gained for him a high place in the community where he 
lived. 

His recreation and delight were in the line of historical and 
genealogical investigation and in the collection of autographs. 
Two valuable volumes of his collections, through the courtesy 
of his heir and of the executor of his will, have been given to 
this Society. 

Besides his leading articles in the files of the " Massachusetts 
Eagle," his printed works are a u History of the Town of 
Sunderland down to the Year 1753," a " Genealogical Record 
of the Inhabitants of Sunderland," a sketch " Sunderland 
Village, 1825-30," an " Historical Address at the Dedication 
of the Berkshire Court House, 1871," and a " Judicial History 
of Berkshire." 

The Sunderland papers are to be found in a volume en- 
titled "History of Sunderland, 1673-1899," published at 
Greenfield in the year 1899, to which he also contributed 
the preface. 

For the Monday Evening Club of Pittsfield he wrote 
essays on " Rights of Property," " One Hundred Years Ago 






1905.] MEMOIR OF HENRY WALBRIDGE TAFT. 393 

(1872)," " Our National Dangers," " History and Archaeology," 
" Random Thoughts," " The Tories of New England," 
" Municipal Government," " Domestic Life in New England 
Sixty Years Ago (1884)," " Popular Fallacies," and a 
" Memoir of George Patrick Briggs." 

A more extended account of Mr. Taft's life and works will 
be found in the Transactions of the Berkshire Historical and 
Scientific Association for the year 1905. 



50 



394 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 



NOVEMBER MEETING, 1905. 

The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at three o'clock p. M. ; the President in the chair. The record 
of the October meeting was read and approved. The Libra- 
rian read the list of donors to the library during the last month, 
and called particular attention to three recently published 
volumes by members of the Society : the exhaustive work on 
" The England and Holland of the Pilgrims," begun by Rev. 
Dr. Henry M. Dexter and completed by his son, Rev. Morton 
Dexter ; Mr. Stan wood's u Life of James G. Blaine " ; and Mr. 
T. W. Higginson's " Part of a Man's Life." The Cabinet- 
Keeper called attention to two canes bequeathed to the Society 
by Dr. John Chester Lyman, of Chicago, a member of the 
Lyman family of Northampton, Mass., and read the following 
extracts from a memorandum annexed to the will of Dr. 
Lyman : — 

" Constitution Cane : One evening in 1833 the U. S. Frigate ' Con- 
stitution,' Old Ironsides, sailed into Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston 
harbor, for its first general overhauling since the war of 1812. My 
father, a boy of sixteen, was then working for George Howes of Boston. 
At noon on the day after the ' Constitution ' arrived, he went over to 
the navy yard with a boy friend. They found that the sailors and 
workmen had gone to their dinner, leaving only one man in charge. 
The boys climbed on board and asked the man for something as a 
souvenir. He good-naturedly took them down into the extreme bottom 
of the hold, and, together, with axes and crowbars, they ripped out a 
long piece of the keelson or false keel. Dividing this between them, 
my father had his piece made into a cane for his grandfather. The 
following day orders were issued prohibiting any one on board, so great 
was the rush of visitors seeking mementoes. After his grandfather's 
death my father took possession of the cane. It has been in the family 
ever since my earliest recollection. It has an ivory knob, and a wide 
silver band marked ' Taken from the keel of the Constitution and 
presented to S. Hinckley by his grandson J. H. Lyman, June 26th, 
1833/ — P^or disposition see Kearsarge Cane — below. It is in 
Iladley, Mass. 



1905.] A LITTLE MORE LIGHT ON ANDREW JOHNSON. 395 

"Kearsarge Cane: In 1872 ray father, mother, and myself went to 
California. About that time the U. S. Man-of-War ' Kearsarge ' 
arrived at Mare Island navy yard for its first general overhauling since 
the war of the Rebellion. James Laidley was collector of the Port 
of San Francisco, and obtained for some carpenter work on the famous 
vessel. In return he saved for Laidley some old water-soaked oak 
taken from the ship. My father's youngest brother David was then 
connected with the internal revenue department in San Francisco. 
Laidley's father had been an employee of my grandfather, and young 
Laidley, my father, and my uncle David had been favorite playmates 
in boyhood. Laidley had two canes made from this oak from the Kear- 
sarge and gave one to my father and one to my uncle. They have 
Walrus ivory handles with gold quartz in the end of them and narrow 
gold bands. I have my father's cane marked * Kearsarge J. L. to 
J. H. L. J It is in Hadley, Mass. In settling my estate I direct that 
if these two canes from the ' Constitution ' and the i Kearsarge' can to- 
gether be sold for $500.00, well and good. If not, I direct that they 
shall be given to the Army and Navy Museum in Washington, D. C, 
if there is such an institution owned by the U. S. Govt., and if it wants 
them ; if not, to the Mass. Historical Society in Boston, Mass., with a 
copy of above descriptions." 

William A. Dunning, LL.D., of Columbia University, a 
Corresponding Member, read the following paper : — 

A Little More Light on Andrew Johnson. 
It was not the fate of Andrew Johnson, during his service 
as President of the United States, to enjoy an overflowing 
measure of popularity and good repute. The unfortunate 
exhibition which he made of himself at his inauguration as 
Vice-President put him under a sinister cloud whose shadow 
remained over him for some time after his accession to the 
Presidency, in the spring of 1865 ; and after February, 1866, 
the incidents of his conflict with Congress made him the object 
of more widespread hatred and more virulent vituperation 
than has been the lot, perhaps, of any other man in .exalted 
public station. Between the earlier and the later seasons of 
obloquy, however, there was a period during which President 
Johnson occupied a singularly high position in general public 
esteem. During the summer and the autumn months of 1865 
the organs of popular opinion were practically unanimous in 
praise of the dignity, patriotism, and high purpose which were 
displayed in the conduct of the administration. Though doubt 



396 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 

as to the wisdom of the President's policy in the South was 
deep and widespread, there was no disposition to attribute to 
him other than statesmanlike motives ; and outside of a very 
small number of vehement Radicals, a willingness to let his plan 
of Reconstruction have a fair trial was everywhere manifested. 
The good judgment displayed by Mr. Johnson and his 
advisers was an important factor in the pleasant situation in 
which the administration found itself. Of equal importance, 
however, were the peculiar conditions prevailing at the time 
in the field of party politics. The Republican party had 
practically lost its identity early in the war, and in 1864 its 
very name had been formally and officially abandoned. The 
convention that nominated Lincoln and Johnson had deliber- 
ately and ostentatiously assumed the character of a constituent 
assembly for the organization of a new party, and the name 
adopted was the Union Party. With the successful termina- 
tion of the war, however, the single purpose which had given 
coherence to this new party had been achieved and the whole 
situation became chaotic. A revival of ante-bellum Republi- 
canism was out of the question ; for by the ratification of the 
Thirteenth Amendment during the summer and autumn of 
1865 the issue which alone had given existence and charac- 
ter to the Republican party was removed from controversy. 
What, then, was to hold together the voters who had elected 
Lincoln and Johnson ? Nothing, apparently, save the offices 
and a traditional hostility to the Democratic organization. 
But hostility to the Democracy was becoming impossible 
to those who followed the administration. The course of 
the President during the summer in reference to the South 
had brought the Democratic leaders, hesitatingly and cau- 
tiously but nevertheless certainly, to his support. A concerted 
movement had begun to rally the ante-bellum Jacksonian 
Democracy to the standard of the administration. The letter 
files of the President offer abundant evidence of the strength 
and importance of this movement. There may be read words 
of confidence and eulogy from such sturdy, if now retired, old 
war horses as Amos Kendall, Duff Green, and Francis P. 
Blair, Sr. There ma}^ be traced the process through which 
many of the War Democrats resumed their long vacant places 
in the councils of the old party and gradually moulded it to 
the support of Andrew Johnson. 






1905.] A LITTLE MORE LIGHT ON ANDREW JOHNSON. 397 

The net result of the party situation just sketched was that 
overt opposition to the administration could not be said to 
exist. Though the radical faction of the Union party were 
busily working to organize in Congress resistance to the Presi- 
dent's policy, their activity did not manifest itself openly, and 
the normal adherence to tradition and to the offices kept the 
state organizations of the party loyal to Mr. Johnson. At the 
same time the Democratic organizations also refrained from 
antagonizing him. Accordingly the President had the agree- 
able experience — probably unprecedented since nominating 
conventions developed — of receiving in a number of States 
the hearty endorsement of both parties in connection with the 
autumn State elections. 

It was while the influence of this unique situation was at its 
maximum that Mr. Johnson was called upon to prepare his 
first annual message. The reception which this state paper 
met with was the climax of the brief popularity which it was 
his fortune to experience. The verdict of contemporaries was, 
almost without a dissenting voice, that the message was a 
model of what such a paper should be. The judgments of the 
leading New York journals are typical. The Tribune and 
Times, which, under Greeley and Raymond, were a priori 
incapable of agreement on any topic, defied logic and agreed 
on this. The Times declared the views of the message to be 
" full of wisdom," and to be expressed " with great force and 
dignity." The Tribune doubted " whether any former message 
has . . . contained so much that will be generally and justly 
approved, and so little that will or should provoke dissent." 
The Evening Post found it " frank, dignified, direct, and 
manly," with not a "single ambiguous sentence." To the 
Herald also it appeared "smoothly written," "clear," and 
" frank." The Nation — and here was praise from the very 
throne itself — declared that any American might read it with 
pride, and found solid hope for democracy in the fact that such 
a document should have been produced by "this Tennesseean 
tailor, who was toiling for his daily bread in the humblest of 
employments when the chiefs of all other countries were reap- 
ing every advantage which school, college, or social position 
could furnish." 

This same tone of admiration was common to observers out- 
side of journalism. Secretary McCullough considered it " one 



398 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 

cf the most judicious executive papers which was ever sent to 
Congress." Charles Francis Adams, minister to Great Britain, 
thought nothing better had been produced " even when Wash- 
ington was chief and Hamilton his financier." The Johnson 
papers contain great numbers of congratulatory letters, in 
which the same tone is manifest, though these, designed for 
Johnson's own eye, need not be quoted as conclusive of their 
writers' opinions. Only two of these may be referred to as 
indicating what was expected to be the effect of the message. 
George Bancroft wrote that everybody approved the message, 
and that " in less than twenty days the extreme radical oppo- 
sition will be over " ; and Oliver P. Morton assured the 
President that his policy would be endorsed by the great body 
of the people, and urged Johnson to use his patronage unspar- 
ingly to crush the congressional opposition. 

In running through the mass of comment on the message it 
is clear that the form and style attracted quite as much atten- 
tion as the substance; and there is everywhere manifest, in 
qualified critics, a subdued amazement that Andrew Johnson 
should have produced just the sort of literature that the paper 
embodied. In the speeches and miscellaneous papers through 
which his style was known to the public, the smoothness, dig- 
nity, and elegance in expression that ran through the message 
were conspicuously absent, and there was no like dependence 
for effect on the orderly marshalling of clear but moderately 
formulated thoughts. Mr. Johnson had not yet, indeed, gained 
his unpleasant notoriety as a brawler on the platform ; but 
he had a well-established reputation as a hard hitter in de- 
bate, who depended for effect on vehemence and iteration 
rather than subtlety and penetration. 

The striking incongruity between the message and Mr. 
Johnson's other papers has never caused, so far as I know, 
any well-grounded denial of authorship to the President. In 
the Washington correspondence of the New York Nation of 
December 14, 1865, it is said : — 

" Some there are who have an intimate persuasion that the entire 
message is the composition of Secretary Seward. But those who are 
nearest to the matter aver that the Secretary of State is only respon- 
sible for the portion relating to foreign affairs, with an occasional re- 
touching elsewhere of the expression, while President Johnson can 
claim full credit for the rest." 



1905.] A LITTLE MORE LIGHT ON ANDREW JOHNSON. 399 

Mr. Blaine, when reviewing the period, was evidently im- 
pressed by the un-Johnsonese character of the message, and 
was thus easily led to support the view mentioned by the Na- 
tion's correspondent. " The moderation in language [I quote 
Blaine's words] and the general conservatism which distin- 
guished the message were perhaps justly attributed to Mr. 
Seward." Mr. Rhodes, in his fifth volume, indicates that his 
trained critical faculty gave him very serious doubts in respect 
to this matter, but that the doubts were almost overcome. 
" If Andrew Johnson wrote it [he says] — and the weight of 
authority seems to imply that he did — it shows that he ought 
always to have addressed his countrymen in carefully pre- 
pared letters and messages." 

It is in the hope of contributing something to the elucida- 
tion of this matter of authorship that I have ventured to ask 
the attention of the Society to-day. 

Some months ago I spent a few days in looking over the 
Johnson papers, now in the Library of Congress. I had no 
particular object in view, but was on a general foraging ex- 
pedition through the material, ready for anything that might 
turn up. Least of all had I in mind the matter of the author- 
ship of Johnson's first message. While going through the files 
of letters received, my curiosity was momentarily aroused by 
a note marked "private and confidential" (one always is un- 
duly attracted by that label), and signed by a man of wide 
reputation, whose name had never, however, been prominently 
associated, so far as I knew, with the career of President 
Johnson. The note was so worded as to conceal entirely the 
matter concerning which it was written, but indicated a rela- 
tion of a very intimate nature between the writer and the 
President. I made a memorandum of the letter, with a query 
as to what it was about, and dismissed it from my mind. 

Several days later I was looking through the series of large 
envelopes containing the preparatory notes and various 
draughts of each of Johnson's messages. In most cases the 
envelope devoted to a particular message contains a consider- 
able number of more or less full draughts, in various handwrit- 
ings, of the treatment to be given to special topics, while the 
final draught of the message is in the clear, formal hand of a 
copying clerk. The annual message of 1865, however, differs 
from all the rest. The envelope devoted to it contains noth- 



400 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 

ing of consequence save a complete draught of the message, in a 
uniform hand which is not that of either Johnson or any other 
person in the executive service at the time. As I was turning 
over the pages of this manuscript and wondering with mild 
curiosity why the first message should have come down in a 
shape so different from the rest, I was joined by Mr. Worth- 
ington C. Ford, Chief of the Bureau of Manuscripts. All of 
us here know Ford, — how he has a sort of sixth sense by 
which he can locate, at any range less than five hundred miles, 
any manuscript important in American history, and can iden- 
tify at sight the chirography of any man who has figured in 
that history since 1492. Ford, glancing over the pages before 
me, observed in his quiet, casual way : " That looks like 
the handwriting of" so and so. I at once was struck with the 
force of the suggestion, since I had seen something of the 
writing of the person named. But what in a moment struck 
me as of particular significance was the fact that the name 
mentioned by Ford was the same name that was signed to 
the " private and confidential " letter mentioned above. Why 
this coincidence especially roused my interest will be apparent 
when the precise tenor of the letter is stated. It runs thus : 

" My task will be done to-morrow, but as no one knows what I am 
about and as I am my own secretary, I must ask a day or two more 
for a careful revision and for making a clean copy, which must be done 
with my own hand." 

Recalling this passage in the letter and my curiosity as to 
what this task might have been, I hastily looked up my notes 
to see what the date of the letter was. It proved to be Novem- 
ber 9, 1865. This was, of course, the precise time at which the 
message must have been nearing completion, for it had to be 
sent to Congress on December 5. The handwriting of the letter 
was, when compared, beyond all question the same as that of 
the manuscript draught. There is thus no room to doubt that 
the task referred to in the letter was the writing of Andrew 
Johnson's first annual message, and that the manuscript in 
the Library of Congress is the " clean copy " which the au- 
thor made about the middle of November with his " own hand." 
A collation of the manuscript with the text of the message as 
sent in was made by Mr. Ford last September, revealing that 
practically the only differences, apart from the insertion of 



1905.] A LITTLE MORE LIGHT ON ANDREW JOHNSON. 401 

the routine paragraphs summarizing the work of the various 
executive departments, were such modifications of phrase- 
ology as would be likely to be made by the writer himself in 
proof. 

That Mr. Johnson himself did not write the final draught 
of his message, is thus conclusively established. To what de- 
gree the actual writer was dependent upon the directions of 
the President — whether he was a draughtsman with full dis- 
cretion or merely a literary reviser of Johnson's own draught 
— does not appear from the evidence at hand. The age, 
learning, political experience, and literary reputation of the 
actual writer render it a priori improbable that he would have 
needed or submitted to very rigorous restriction by a man 
of Johnson's antecedents. The East Tennessee mountaineer 
whose boast that he feared no one was doubtless the truth, 
must nevertheless, under the responsibility with which his 
crude but honest nature was now burdened, have looked up 
with sincere respect and deference to a man eight years his 
senior, whose early life had been passed amid the best cultural 
influences of his native Massachusetts, whose middle life had 
found him in the high places of power and dignity of the same 
party which Johnson was serving in lower places, and whose 
declining years were being devoted to the glorification, by the 
ways of literature, research, and learning, of that people and 
that constitution which were the theme of all the President's 
declamation and the object of all his fealty. It is a 'priori 
improbable, I say, that Andrew Johnson exercised very close 
supervision over the construction of this message ; for the 
man who actually wrote it was no less well qualified a person 
than George Bancroft. 

That Johnson's most praised state paper was the product, 
not of his own, but of a more competent writer's pen, is from 
the standpoint of serious history an interesting rather than an 
important fact. Neither constitution, law, nor custom has ever 
required that a President of the United States should person- 
ally frame bis messages to Congress or other official documents, 
and it would be a safe conjecture that a relatively small pro- 
portion of such papers in our history have embodied the 
unaided labor of the men by whom they are signed. It is 
unusual, however, for a President to intrust the preparation 
of important papers to persons wholly outside the circle of his 

51 



402 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 

official advisers. Mr. Johnson's cabinet included at least two 
members, Stanton and Seward, whose qualifications for pre- 
paring the message were beyond question. If Stanton be 
considered as not available because of the indications he had 
already given of lack of sympathy with the President's policy, 
still Seward remains, — a man whose opinions, whose experi- 
ence, and whose ability made him apparently the one person 
to whom resort should be made for the task in hand. It is not 
surprising that the widespread contemporary sentiment which 
Blaine reflected should have attributed a dominant influence 
in the message to Seward. Now that we know otherwise, now 
that -we have found that a mind of totally different antecedents 
and training gave the final impress to the paper, we may pos- 
sibly get some useful sidelights on the history of the time by 
speculating on the motives which actuated the President in 
having recourse to an outsider. Thus the discovery of the 
authorship may become important as well as interesting. 

It should be understood, in the first place, that the intimate 
relations of Bancroft and Johnson are demonstrated by other 
evidence than that already adduced, and that the authorship 
of the message throws an entertaining light on some of their 
later correspondence. The letter already referred to, for 
example, in which Bancroft tells Johnson that everybody 
approves the message, rings with a different tone when we 
know with what personal interest and satisfaction Bancroft 
recorded this fact. Another letter, written just before Con- 
gress met, reveals Bancroft as a diligent laborer in the cause 
of the President's policy, though in this particular case the effec- 
tiveness of his efforts was impaired by the fact that they were 
exerted upon that particularly tough subject, Charles Sumner. 
Under date of December 1, Bancroft tells Johnson that he has 
just had a two or three hours' talk with Sumner, and tried to 
calm him on the suffrage question (fancy anybody calming Sum- 
ner on the suffrage question !); that Sumner was bent on making 
some speeches in the Senate, but intended to cultivate friendly 
relations with Johnson and would call on him ; that Sumner 
agreed with Johnson on foreign relations, and that therefore 
the President might do well to conciliate the Senator by " a 
little freedom of conversation on foreign affairs/' We know, 
from Pierce's memoir of Sumner, the sequel of this amiable 
attempt to make oil and water mix. The Senator called on 



1905.] A LITTLE MOKE LIGHT ON ANDREW JOHNSON. 403 

the President, found him, like so many another who failed to 
be convinced of the righteousness of Sumner's views, hopelessly 
dull and wrong-headed, and left the White House to turn upon 
its occupant the turbid stream of Demosthenian and Ciceronian 
invective which had hitherto been directed at only the slave- 
holder and the rebel. 

A little later Bancroft was greatly perturbed, as well as 
honored, by an invitation to deliver the oration on Lincoln 
which was to be the central feature of a memorial service of 
the two Houses. In a hasty note of January 8, he asks John- 
son concisely, " What shall I do ? " Why he should have 
thought it necessary to get the President's direction, does not 
appear. We know from Gideon Welles, however, that politics 
and the tension between Radicals and Conservatives were 
operative in connection with this memorial service, and that 
Stanton, who had first been selected as orator of the day, had 
been dropped as too radical and too little in sympathy with the 
dead President's Reconstruction policy. Possibly Bancroft 
feared some scheme to compromise him with Johnson, and 
hence took the precaution of consulting the President. At all 
events, the answer must have been favorable to acceptance, 
for Bancroft did deliver the address. 

These incidents all confirm the personal intimacy between 
Bancroft and Johnson ; they do not, however, explain why 
Johnson should have intrusted the historian with a task of 
such fundamental political significance as the construction of 
the message. While we must, for such explanation, enter the 
field of conjecture rather than of history, I am disposed to 
believe that the clue is to be found in a consideration of Ban- 
croft's political past and of Johnson's projects for a political 
future. 

It is unnecessary to detain the Massachusetts Historical 
Society with a description of George Bancroft's politics. His 
early apostasy from the federalism which dominated his family, 
his college, and his whole social and literary milieu is almost 
what Professor Hart would call an " essential " of Massa- 
chusetts history. He was the bright particular star of the 
unspeakable Jacksonian Democracy in his native State, was 
collector of the Port of Boston under Van Buren, was Secre- 
tary of the Navy and Minister to Great Britain under Polk, 
and remained steadfast in the Democratic faith till the wartime. 



404 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 

Then, in the stress of arms, he became conspicuous among 
those so-called War Democrats whose fusion with the hetero- 
geneous and ill-compacted Republican party so transformed 
it that its identity was quite lost. In behalf of the Union 
Bancroft wrote, spoke, and schemed with all the nervous and 
not always well-directed energy that was characteristic of him. 
It is a fact of some local interest in New York that his unqual- 
ified devotion to the cause of the Union contributed in some 
degree to make him president of the Century Club, — a distinc- 
tion that really distinguishes in that philistine town. 

This record of rock-ribbed democracy and Unionism could 
not but have been very impressive to Andrew Johnson, whose 
own record was closely parallel to it. By the autumn of 1865 
the President, as abundant evidence shows, had become defin- 
itively committed to the general policy of giving to the Union 
party, now that the distinctive object of its organization had 
been attained, a character that should perpetuate the ideals 
and traditions of the ante-bellum and anti-secession Democ- 
racy. From the Radicalism that was seeking to revolutionize 
the social and political system, he turned by the instinct of his 
nature ; from the Whiggery which might offer a refuge to 
conservatism, he turned by the habit of a life-long hostility. 
The principles and the men of the old Democratic party 
must, in his mind, now dominate the political situation. 
What were the principles of the old Democracy as they had 
been iterated and reiterated in Johnson's speeches? Govern- 
ment for and by the masses of the people ; the sanctity and 
far-reaching autonomy of the States ; the beneficence and per- 
petuity of the Union ; the supreme and divinely inspired ex- 
cellence of the Constitution ; and the manifest destiny of the 
United States to lead all mankind in political wisdom and in 
the ways of righteousness and enlightenment. But even as 
we read this noble and exalted if somewhat Chauvinistic list, 
does it not seem to every one who knows even superficially 
the writings of George Bancroft that we are cataloguing the 
principles and ideals which he systematically ascribed to his 
native land ? No Prussian scholar of the Bismarckian era 
was ever more certain that the goal of all history, when scien- 
tifically interpreted, was the unification of Germany under the 
Hohenzollerns, than Bancroft was that the climax of human- 
ity's political achievement was the American republic and its 



1905.] A LITTLE MORE LIGHT ON ANDREW JOHNSON. 405 

Constitution. And so we find in the message that "the hand 
of divine Providence was never more plainly visible in the af- 
fairs of men than in the framing and the adopting of" the 
Constitution ; that this was, " of all events in modern times, 
the most pregnant with consequences for every people of the 
earth " ; that the supreme merit of this American system is 
the guarantees it embodies of permanence to the general gov- 
ernment, indestructibility to the States, and immunity to the 
citizens in all their natural rights. We have, in short, the 
principles for which the old Democratic party stood in its best 
estate before the war. 

To formulate these principles and to rally the people to 
them was, I believe, the purpose which Johnson had chiefly 
in mind when he confronted the preparation of his first mes- 
sage. With such a purpose presumed, the resort to Bancroft 
as draughtsman is an obvious and self-explained deduction. 
For the business in hand there was needed no old-time Whig, 
saturated with the heresies of a defunct and discredited party, 
no anti-slavery agitator, who had professed his faith in some 
law higher than the Constitution, no adept of the Radicalism 
which maintained that the inspired work of 1787 had proved 
inadequate to the exigencies of rebellion and had been super- 
seded : none of these, but one who had, through all the storm 
and stress of ante-bellum and per-bellum politics, remained 
undeviatingly true to the creed of the Democracy, — to the 
view of the Constitution which Jefferson and Madison had 
maintained, and to the view of the Union which had been 
taken by~ Jackson. 

The melancholy failure of the enterprise which was so hope- 
fully inaugurated by Bancroft's literary labor, it is no function 
of this paper to describe. We may pause merely to recall the 
fact that the labor of the historian, though so notably unsuc- 
cessful in its political results, met with an entirely adequate 
personal reward in his appointment as Minister to Berlin in 
1867. In this position he was retained by President Grant 
until 1874. To one who is aware of the feeling toward John- 
son that prevailed in the Senate in 1867 and in Grant in 1869, 
it will always be a matter of curious speculation whether Ban- 
croft would have been confirmed by the one authority or re- 
tained in office by the other if it had been known that he was 
the author of Andrew Johnson's first annual message. 



406 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 

Frederic Bancroft, LL.D., of Washington, D. C, a Cor- 
responding Member, read a carefully prepared paper on the 
number and condition of the free negroes at the South before 
the Civil War. 

Mr. Charles P. Bowditch presented some original docu- 
ments and copies of letters relating to the treatment of negro 
seamen at the South in 1842-43, and said : — 

I found amongst my father's papers some letters referring to 
an incident which, in connection with the discussion which 
has been held in this Society during the last year, may have a 
certain interest. 

In 1841 and 1842 John Quincy Adams was making his 
great fight for the right of petition in general and especially 
for the right of petition for the abolition of negro slavery. 
In the midst of this contest, the North was greatly excited by 
action taken in the Southern courts under the State laws, by 
which free colored citizens coming into those ports on vessels 
were imprisoned while the vessels remained in port. 

In May, 1842, a petition was circulated in Boston and signed 
by the leading citizens, asking for legislation on the part of 
Congress to prevent this attack on the rights of citizens of the 
United States. A copy of this petition is the first paper 
amongst those which I now have the pleasure of presenting 
to the Society. 

This petition was sent to Rufus Choate, one of the Senators 
representing Massachusetts in the United States Senate, with 
the request that he should present it to that body. Apparently 
the petitioners received no statement from Mr. Choate that the 
petition had been presented, and wrote to inquire what had 
been done. The letter of Mr. Choate in reply follows, show- 
ing, as the petitioners thought, no very great interest in 
the subject of the petition itself or in its presentation to the 
Senate. 

After the adjournment of the Senate in the summer of 1842, 
the petitioners requested the return by Mr. Choate of the pe- 
tition which they had sent him in the previous May, and after 
some correspondence this was apparently acceded to. The 
petition was then sent to Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, who was 
one of the Massachusetts representatives in the Lower House, 
with the request that he should present it to the House. The 



1905.] TREATMENT OF NEGRO SEAMEN AT THE SOUTH. 407 

letter of Robert C. Winthrop is amongst the papers, and 
evinces a decided interest in carrying out the wishes of the 
petitioners. He was a little uncertain as to the best form of 
action to be taken in the matter, and suggested that Mr. 
Franklin Dexter, John Pickering, or Mr. Prescott should be 
consulted on the subject. A letter of Mr. Dexter is here 
given in reply to this request. 

The correspondence does not show in detail the course 
which the petition took, except that a copy of a letter from 
my father to Mr. Winthrop, dated February 5, 1843, expresses 
his amazement at the votes of the Northern dough-faces. 

, Investigation, however, of the Congressional Globe for 1842- 
43 shows that on January 20, 1843, Mr. Winthrop reported 
for the majority of the Committee on Commerce, to which 
committee the petition had been referred, while Mr. Rayner 
of North Carolina submitted a minority report. 

No action, apparently, was taken upon these reports, except 
that they were ordered printed, until March 2, 1843, when 
Mr. Winthrop moved that the House take up the resolutions 
appended to the majority report. Mr. Cave Johnson moved 
to lay the subject on the table, but Mr. Weller called for the 
reading of the resolutions. These resolutions were read as 
follows : — 

"Resolved, That the seizure and imprisonment in any port of this 
Union, of free colored seamen, citizens of any of the States, and against 
whom there is no charge but that of entering said port in the prosecu- 
tion of their rightful business, is a violation of the privileges of citizen- 
ship guaranteed by the 2d section of the 4th article of the Constitution 
of the United States. 

" Resolved, That the seizure and imprisonment in any port of this 
Union of free colored seamen on board of foreign vessels, against whom 
there is no charge but that of entering said port in the course of their 
lawful business, is a breach of the comity of nations, is incompatible 
with the rights of all nations in amity with the United States, and in 
relation to nations with whom the United States have formed commer- 
cial conventions, is a violation of the 6th article of the Federal Consti- 
tution, which declares that treaties are a part of the supreme law of 
the land. 

" Resolved, That any State laws by which certain classes of seamen 
are prohibited from entering certain ports of this Union in the prosecu- 
tion of their rightful husiness are in contravention of the paramount 
and exclusive power of the General Government to regulate Commerce. 



408 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Nov. 

" Resolved, That the police power of the States can justify no enact- 
ments or regulations which are in direct positive and permanent con- 
flict with express provisions or fundamental principles of the national 
compact." 

Mr. Winthrop called for " Yeas " and " Nays " on the mo- 
tion to lay the resolutions on the table, and they were ordered, 
and being taken resulted as follows : Yeas, 86 ; Nays, 59. 

In the session beginning December, 1841, the memorials and 
petitions against slavery in the District of Columbia and in 
the slave States were not received. In the Senate the recep- 
tion of the petition was objected to, and then the question of 
its reception was laid on the table. 

In the House the twenty-first rule declared that no petition, 
memorial, resolution, or other paper, praying the abolition of 
slavery in the District of Columbia or in any State or Ter- 
ritory or of the slave trade between the States and Terri- 
tories of the United States in which it already existed, should 
be received by this House or entertained in any way whatever. 

Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn called attention to an inter- 
esting and important letter of Chief Justice Taney, on slavery 
and emancipation, written in August, 1857, to Rev. Samuel 
Nott, of Wareham, which was communicated to the Society 
some years ago. 1 

Other remarks were made during the meeting by Rev. Dr. 
Edward E. Hale and Messrs. Franklin B. Sanborn and 
Thomas W. Higginson. 

1 See Proceedings, vol. xii. pp. 444-447. — Eds. 



1905.] THE FRIGATE "CONSTITUTION." 409 



DECEMBER MEETING, 1905. 

The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 14th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. M. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the November meeting was read and ap- 
proved ; and the Librarian submitted the customary list of 
donors to the Library. 

Hon. John Lathrop, one of the Justices of the Supreme 
Judicial Court, was elected a Resident Member; and Mr. 
Hubert Hall, of the Public Record Office, London, was 
elected a Corresponding Member. 

The President, on behalf of the Council, called attention 
to the following extract from the Report of Charles J. 
Bonaparte, Secretary of the Navy, recently submitted to 
Congress : — 

The Frigate " Constitution" 

Erroneous or greatly exaggerated reports as to the condition of the 
old frigate " Constitution n now at the Boston navy-yard led recently 
to some popular agitation looking to the preservation of this ship as 
a national relic, and also to much discussion as to the most appro- 
priate and becoming method of perpetuating the memory of the naval 
victories with which her name is associated. 

In dealing with this question it is important to bear in mind that 
the vessel now at Charlestown is not the vessel with which Hull cap- 
tured the " Guerriere." Some portion of the materials from that ship 
was undoubtedly used in building the new one, to which her name was 
subsequently given, but probably only a very small part of these mate- 
rials can be now identified with any confidence, and, in any event, it is 
quite certain that they constituted only a very small part of the struc- 
ture of the new ship. To exhibit the " Constitution " therefore as the 
genuine "Old Ironsides," charging, as has been proposed, a fee for 
permission to inspect her, and using the amount thus earned to bear 
the expense of her preservation, would not only ill accord with the 
dignity of the Government, but would amount to obtaining money 
under false pretences. 

The further suggestion that she should be rebuilt on her old lines 
with new materials would involve a perfectly unjustifiable waste of 

52 



410 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Dec. 

public money, since when completed, at a cost of certainly several 
hundred thousand dollars, she would be absolutely useless. Never- 
theless, I think it would be wise and becoming to commemorate in 
some proper way the victories of the old " Constitution," and I sug- 
gest that this be done in the same way in which it was done when the 
frigate was rebuilt — that is to say, I suggest that so much of